MOSCOW: A prototype of the Vitacycle-T greenhouse for growing lettuce on the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) will be ready by the end of 2021, the developers told Sputnik on Wednesday.
“Before the end of 2021, one prototype set will be created, all ground tests will be completed, including biological ones, that is growing the plants,” Anton Bychkov, head of the medical department of the scientific research institute of space equipment engineering that is designing the greenhouse, said.
The flight models of the greenhouse are yet to be developed.
According to Bychkov, two models will be designed, which should take around a year and a half. One of these models will then be selected to be sent to the ISS.
According to the space greenhouse developers, the Vitacycle-T will be unique in its use of a conveyor system that will allow it to work non-stop for periods of around 44 to 66 days. This will be enough time to plant seeds, wait for them to grow and to then harvest lettuce.
Vitacycle-T is being designed only for the cultivation of lettuce, but the introduction of other plants could also be made possible in the future.