A Phased Approach to Lunar-Based Agriculture

by Tom Polette, Univ of Houston, United States,
Larry Toups, Univ of Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space


A manned lunar outpost will require agricultural facilities to provide for self-sufficiency. This paper examines a three phase approach which incorporates research on crop optimization. A first phase facility would utilize both a hard module for systems equipment and an inflatable structure that would provide a growth chamber for the demonstration of crop production. In the second phase, additional facilities are installed to allow for the production of warm season crops and to support the entire crew. The third phase utilizes in situ lunar materials to construct a larger inflatable growth facility. Crop candidates for growth are selected because of their ease of harvesting and processing, their familiarity, variety, and taste in addition to their nutritional value. These vegetable crops would both maintain air quality and provide for 20.8% of the recommended daily caloric intake, consisting of 36.4% of the daily carbohydrate and 10.1% of the daily protein requirements for the crew.

Subject Headings: Crops | Moon | Agriculture | Lunar materials | Air quality | Water intakes | Space colonies

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