Friday, July 25, 2008

Travel Day 2: Moon and Mars greenhouse in the Arctic?

Yes, it's true.  At Iqaluit Airport, waiting for our connecting flight to Resolute Bay, the Spaceward Bound Arctic group met Matt Bamsey, a post-doc from the Canadian Space Agency.  Matt's work involves researching how to develop autonomous greenhouses for use on the Moon and Mars.  The reasoning is that on those missions we don't want astronauts spending a large percentage of their time growing food necessary for their survival during long-duration expeditions.  So, if greenhouses can be developed that run automatically, and can handle the unique light and dark environs of both the Moon and Mars, astronauts have more time to devote to the science goals of the mission.  Search terms such as "Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse Haughton Mars Project Devon Island" for more information.

Why the Arctic?  Moon: extreme environment.  Mars:  extreme environment.  Arctic:  You guessed it.  Extreme environment.