Exploring Self-Sustaining Crop Production with NASA
Today we’re over the moon excited to announce that with the help of a NASA STTR grant, we’re partnering with Clemson University to explore a new way of growing food in extreme climates…and maybe even space.
Using the LGM as a baseline, we’re striving to create what’s called a Self-Sustaining Crop Production Unit (SSCPU). A SSCPU would run independent from the energy grid using renewable energy techniques and water reclamation methods. This system in conjunction with developed processes to grow and harvest seed producing plants and recycle plant biomass would sustain life with zero inputs required.
The proposed innovations will serve purposes for both NASA applications in deep space, and could also be applied to other industries in need of a stable food supply, such as disaster relief, military bases, mining and offshore industries, or remote living in harsh climates. Providing a secure source of food to populations regardless of their climate areas, terrain, energy infrastructure, or available land is a game-changer. On-site food production reduces cost and security risk of transport, food spoilage due to travel, and any dependency on traditional logistics.
This new project directly supports the Freight Farms mission to grow food anywhere, and our co-founder and President, Jon Friedman, is thrilled with the opportunity.
“It’s an honor to be selected by NASA to expand the potential of agricultural technologies and develop new applications for our products. NASA and Clemson are excellent partners to fuel our company mission to grow food anywhere and build the infrastructure for the next generation of farming, no matter what planet that may be on.”
— Jon Friedman, Freight Farms co-founder
If you’re wondering what an STTR grant is, here’s a quick explanation: the NASA STTR grant program encourages small businesses and research institutions to conduct federal research and industrial commercialization by enabling them to explore technological potential and providing the incentive to profit from new commercial products and services. The award-based program offers a $49.7 million value, with winning proposals selected due to their technical merit and feasibility, as well as the experience and qualifications of the submitting organization.
That’s why we’re partnering with Clemson University on the project…they are engineering geniuses. Combining our knowledge of containerized farming solutions, with their engineering expertise was a no-brainer. Plus our Lead Engineer, John Kelly, is an alum! He couldn’t be more excited to be pairing up with his alma mater on such a high-impact project.
“Clemson University gave me so many opportunities as an undergraduate to prepare me for my engineering career. It’s very rewarding to now be able to use those skills to bring research and funding back to the university for the next generation of alums.”
— John Kelly, Freight Farms Lead Engineer
This project is only at the beginning, so we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress. If you’d like to learn more, contact us here!
Originally published at www.freightfarms.com.