The UK Space Agency has selected UK-based vertical farming firm Vertical Future to lead a project that aims to develop a Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) facility to support space exploration. The project learnings will also be applied to vertical farming on Earth to advance urban agriculture capabilities.
As Dr. Jennifer Bromley, chief scientific officer at Vertical Future, points out, astronauts typically lack access to a varied diet while in space, which is an issue the project is working to solve by providing high-quality produce that can be grown on a space vessel.
“While this project may sound like the plotline of The Martian, it is important to develop new and innovative ways for astronauts to survive and thrive in their ventures to not just the Moon but Mars and beyond,” she says.
Vertical Future – which claims to be the first UK-based firm to work in the agri-space sector after securing this research grant – will team up with international experts in plant biology and space technologies, including Axiom Space, Saber Astronautics and the University of Southern Queensland, along with its Plants for Space research partners at the University of Adelaide and the University of Cambridge.
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