Space really is the final frontier, with many people trying to push the boundaries to put up new colonies there. However, creating new colonies in other planets largely depends on our ability to cultivate food in space.
Space can be an inhospitable space, with cold temperatures, high radiation levels and long day and night cycles just among the many challenges that green thumbs will need to overcome.
Why not just send food to space? Well, it isn’t that simple. It costs about $10,000 to send a pound of material from Earth into low orbit, with costs going up the further into space the material is sent. This makes it difficult to build a sustainable space colony, asprecious space on any resupply shipments would most likely be used to send mechanical instruments or supplies rather than food.
Thankfully, space programs including NASA are making encouraging progress in the research of growing crops in space. Germany’s space agency, for example, has tested growing tomatoes from recycled astronaut urine.
Experts are also considering growing space-resilient plants and using inflatable greenhouses to grow vegetation that creates oxygen.Only time will tell what the future holds for extraterrestrial humans and sustainable colonies outside of Earth.