You can grow plants without land: in water or in the air. NASA discovered it. How it could revolutionize the agricultural sector
It would be crazy if in a period like this where everyone’s materials cost much more (food products too) all of us could grow vegetables in our living room (without dirt). And that’s exactly what NASA is studying and developing.
As you probably know, many scientific discoveries are the result of the work of research aimed at space missions. Like pumps that are implanted in the sick hearts of some people. The image sensors of cell phone cameras, GPS, or even systems for filtering and recovering water from humidity.
Soon – thanks to space research – we will be able to grow tomatoes, zucchinis, basil, sage, and other plant species in containers no bigger than a mini-fridge. Growing the seedlings not in the dirt but in water or even in the air.
That is, the earth, whether brown clay or red, which we have always been told is the place to plant the seeds, where the roots are, and where the trees grow, would become useless.
You got it right: useless for agriculture or the home garden.
I know it may seem really strange to you: but we are facing the future. To those scientific discoveries that revolutionize our way of life, the market for raw food products, and the opportunities we can have.
NASA’S RESEARCH: AEROSPACE STATION
NASA is experimenting with a new technique that could potentially decrease the amount of space needed to live in the International Aerospace Station.
It is precisely from this need that the development of this research is born.
This method involves the cultivation of plants without soil, in water, or in the air.
The principle is very simple: the plant, just like us animals, needs water and food to live.
“So if we can find a way to give them what they need without having to use soil as a support, then we can greatly reduce the space they need.”
NASA is already experimenting with this new technique in the International Space Station. As seen in the first photo at the top of the article.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
There are many benefits to this method.
– One of the most important is that it would allow us to grow plants even in places where there is no soil, or where the soil is not suitable for cultivation.
“This would be very useful, for example, on Mars.”
– Another advantage is that this method requires much less water than traditional farming. This is because the plant gets the water it needs directly from the air, without having to depend on the soil as a source. This could be very useful in arid regions, where water is scarce.
-Finally, this method will also allow us to grow plants indoors, without the need for sunlight.
This would be possible because the plants will be able to obtain heat and the same energy from the air and not from the sun.
So even if we lived in a place with little sunlight, we could still grow plants.
All these advantages make this new technique very promising for the future of agriculture.
However, some drawbacks need to be considered. That will almost certainly be resolved by scientists over time.
A major drawback is that this method is still in its early stages of development and it is not yet clear how effective it will be in the long term.
Another downside is that this technique could take over and disrupt the current agricultural sector.
This is because, if it became widely used, it would make traditional farming methods obsolete.
Many I can speculate will think it could lead to job losses for many people working in the agricultural sector.
So while this new technique has many potential benefits, it also has some drawbacks that need to be considered before it can be widely used.
The implications of this technology are far-reaching and could potentially have a huge impact on our way of life.
IT WILL BE LIKE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Something like this happened when the steam engine was discovered. Thankfully we managed around 1700, to speed up the excavations in the mines and then to make a vehicle much faster than carriages and horses. I’m talking about the train.
It was a revolution in our society that fueled the first industrial revolution. In reality, a chain reaction was unleashed that advanced humanity and, above all, created many more jobs.
But our uses totally changed. Maybe the same thing will happen with aeroponics.
For example, if we were able to grow food without soil, we would no longer need large amounts of land for agriculture.
This would free up land for other uses, such as housing or recreation. Also, growing food in water or air instead of soil would greatly reduce the amount of water needed for agriculture. This would be a huge benefit in areas where water is scarce.
NASA IS ONE STEP AWAY FROM THE HOLY GRAIL OF AGRICULTURE
There are still many challenges that need to be addressed before this technology can be widely used. For example, more research needs to be done to understand how plants grown without soil will absorb nutrients.
It is also unclear how these plants will taste and if they will be as nutritious as plants grown in soil.
Despite the challenges, the potential of this technology is very exciting. It could have a profound impact on the way we live and produce food.
“The investigation includes unique root modules designed to deliver and recover nutrient solution to plants so they can be grown without the additional mass of any soil,” explains principal investigator John Wetzel of the Sierra Nevada Corporation.
“This approach is much more mass efficient for future large-scale plant growth systems in space.”
The findings may help scientists understand how to build large-scale agricultural systems to produce food crops for future space exploration and habitats.
The technology platforms created in this study could also be used to improve plant growth in terrestrial environments, such as greenhouses, and help increase food security on Earth.
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