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The greenhouse in the Antarctic : vegetables on Mars by the touch of a button

Icy wasteland, and temperatures of up to minus 45 degrees: A year of aerospace engineer Paul Zabel vegetables grown under extreme conditions in the Antarctic. Possible the has made a new type of greenhouse that could supply in the future, astronauts on the moon and Mars. In the meantime, Zabels Mission is completed as the Antarctic gardener. The greenhouse is currently on a break. However, in the new year, there is again fresh and green is sprouting stuff - this time, however, remotely.

a number of kilos of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes couldn Zabel harvests in the past few months in the special Container. There the plants grew on a cultivated area of 13 square meters without earth, daylight and pesticides. How well that works, want to evaluate the researchers in the coming months. The results are expected to be available in may.

For a project Manager Daniel Schubert from the German center for air and space travel (DLR) in Bremen, the Experiment is already a success. "Our expectations have been met. We have produced enough food for all.“

thanks to the greenhouse, the polar Explorer, is 400 metres away Neumayer-III got-Station regularly fresh vegetables on the plate. In the Antarctic Winter, they are cut off from the outside world and need to live normally for months of supplies. Culinary and salad & Co were an absolute enrichment, but also had a positive effect on your mood? To find out, filled the crew in the past few months, special questionnaires, which are also to be may be evaluated.

In January, will fly six researchers again in the Antarctic, the greenhouse rebuild. "We will tear out," said Schubert. The Team will also repair the broken devices and new tools to install. After that, it aims to sow new plants - but they should remain on the Dry. "We will try to control the Container completely from Bremen," said Schubert.

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polar research, Radishes from the Antarctic

With a push of a button from the control room to get the seeds then later, water, germs, and independently thrive. The polar researchers will first need to crop the greenhouse to enter. Similar to the scenario, look at a real space mission, explained Schubert. While the astronauts are on the way to Mars, you could launch from earth, there is already the growing Vegetables. "When the astronauts arrive, the greenhouse is in full bloom." (dpa)

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