GreenHab Report – January 21st

Sol 6
GreenHab Status:
It’s toasty warm all Sol round now that the new heater has been installed. This means the GreenHab is essentially fully functional (minus a few mod cons), and ready to have long term experiments. This also means the capacity for botanical experiments has dramatically increased. The seedlings planted by prior crews are really picking up the growth pace, and the seeds I have planted are already sprouting. Soon the GreenHab will live up to its colourful name, being lush with greenery.
The grow tent is still inside the main Hab, where I suggest it should stay (if left in the GreenHab it gets far too hot to support plant life). It is being used primarily as an incubator for newly planted seeds until they have sprouted and are ready to be moved to the GreenHab proper.
GreenHab Update:
The heater is now fully functional, including automation, leaving only fan cooling to be done manually (if it is needed at all).
A corn growth experiment is now underway by myself and Michaela in the GreenHab, determining the base growth rate of corn (interestingly sown from popcorn kernels courtesy of crew 171!) under simulated Martian conditions. This data will go on to help design a later experiment testing the effects of heavy metals on growth rate, to be conducted by Michaela in collaboration with the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.
There is also an experiment in the grow tent, by myself and Michaela, measuring the effects seedlings experience based on the density of seeds. Six different crops were sown in pots with seed densities ranging from 1 to 12 seeds per 4cm2. This experiment is to be followed up by Michaela in collaboration with researchers at Mendel University, also in the Czech Republic.
I have also begun to test soil samples from the surrounding area for salinity and pH. This is to determine where soil quality is best, in the hopes that small quantities of soil can be sourced locally and improved with compost in the future.
The chard is sprouting.
GreenHab corn experiment (photo credit Michaela Musilova) sol 6
Growth tent seed density experiment (photo credit Michaela Musilova) sol 6
– More potting mix, large pots / planter boxes
– Larger plants such as fruit trees, eg. a citrus fruit.
– Any instructions for setting up the aquaponics system.