Even those going to the final frontier need to eat, and two Athens students have come up with a way to feed hungry astronauts in near-zero gravity.
A ‘Space Agrobox’ created by two Greek students is a revolutionary device which grows food for astronauts “under microgravity conditions”, according to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
Augustinos Pantazidis, a postgraduate student at the Department of Natural Resources and Agricultural Engineering of the Agricultural University of Athens, and Maria Kontogianni, an undergraduate of the same department have designed a device which would allow astronauts to cultivate food of high nutritional value on their own.
“This is a specially shaped capsule, in which microgreens can grow under microgravity conditions, making optimal use of the available volume”, they stated.
“In order to find a solution to the problem astronauts face, we had to respond to several practical questions during the development of the idea. Both were related to the particularities that appear in the microbial conditions and to the cost management of the gradual development of such a product,” the two students said.
The project was presented for the first time in the Act in Space national competition held in late May, ranked in third place. The competition was organized by the European Space Agency (ESA), the French Space Agency (CNES) and ESA BIC Sud France, while international sponsors include Airbus Defense and Space Air Zero G, CLS , GSA, EBAN, Invivo, Qwant, FabSpace, Invest In Toulouse, Copernicus Masters and Toulouse Business School.
The two students’ aim is to promote their device in other European competitions, as such ideas cannot be realized in Greece at the moment due to the lack of proper infrastructure.