The popular CBC Television program The Nature of Things got inside Prof. Mike Dixon’s Space and Advanced Life Support Agriculture system recently. The system, designed to grow food in space, was featured on the show on Jan. 27.
Dixon is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences and director of U of G’s Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility. He said the availability of food will determine how far from Earth humans can travel and how long they can stay.
A push is on to send humans to Mars as early as the 2030s. Because of the vast distances that must be traveled and the length of time it will take, astronauts will have to grow their own food upon arrival, Dixon said.
He works with NASA and the German Aerospace Center on projects to grow plants in extreme environments, including space.