The onions, peas and cucumbers [17]. These

The standard use of soil isn’t beneficial, as it is linked to disadvantages that
can affect life in space, such as increased water consumption or soil transmitted plant
diseases. Therefore, we considered developing our agricultural system based on aeroponic
technology. The aeroponic system enables plants to grow in an air/mist environment,
with no soil and almost no water (figure 42). The roots of the plants will be sprinkled
with an all-natural nutrient rich mist, known as Organic Disease Control (ODC).
Why? Using an aeroponic system can bring plenty of benefits, such as:
• The lack of fungal infections due to no soil being used;
• An efficient, brisk and neat food production mechanism, as plants can be gown
and harvested without interruption throughout the year;
• Risk of spreading plant diseases and infections is considerably reduced. If one
plant happens to present a disease, it can simply be removed from the recipient
and, due to the absence of the soil, there will be no pathways for disease
transmission;
• Risk of contamination through residue or pesticides is non-existent, as such substances
will not be used in the agricultural process;
• Reducing the amount of water used by up to 98% and the amount of fertilizer
used up to 60%, compared to traditional plant growth systems;
• Increasement of the plants’ normal vitamin and mineral uptake, resulting “healthier
and potentially more nutritious” crops 16.
Several studies regarding whether nanogravity affects plant growing have been carried
out throughout the years. Researchers concluded that most species of plants retain their
growing behaviors (i.e. gravitropism) despite the lack of gravity. Our agricultural system
will grow a wide range of species that have been previously tested in space, in order to
assure diversity and to satisfy everyone’s pleasures, including: wheat, lettuce, rice, potato,
garlic, basil, radish, onions, peas and cucumbers 17. These can later be used in preparing
nutritious meals, such as soups or salads, or can be mixed with insect meat, resulting in
high-protein feed.
41
We considered using other agricultural systems, as traditional soil-based systems, aquaponics
or hydroponics. Nevertheless, using any soil-based methods would result in the loss of
all advantages related to plant disease spreading and water consumption alike. Likewise,
an aeroponic system is easier to maintain and finance than hydroponics and aquaponics,
ensuring a lower energy consumption.