How NASA Uses LED Technology in Plant Growth Experiments in Space
Growing plants in space is crucial to long term missions to the moon and Mars

NASA has led the charge in space exploration for more than six decades, and through the new Artemis program, they will build on their work in low-Earth orbit. 

NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program includes sending a suite of new science instruments and technology demonstrations to study the Moon, landing the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024, and establishing a sustained presence by 2028. The agency will leverage its Artemis experience and technologies to prepare for the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

NASA and its international and commercial partners have demonstrated skill in solving the challenge of feeding crews in low-Earth orbit. Astronauts have lived and worked continuously in space for more than 20 years (Nov 2 2000) , eating mostly packaged foods along with some fresh foods delivered on regular resupply missions.

In preparation for Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond, researchers are developing ways to sustain explorers for missions to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit including Mars, missions that may last for months or even years and have limited opportunities for resupply missions. 

Scientists are new using LED lighting technology to supply the plants with vital nutrition, this includes both manual and automated growth environments. Even though growing plants in space is still hard, these experiments show that it is possible to grow edible essential plants under controlled conditions.