EDEN ISS — Ground Demonstration of Plant Cultivation Technologies for Safe Food Production in Space

EDEN ISS Hi-res photos

EDEN ISS Mobile Test Facility, Rendering: LSG

EDEN ISS focuses on ground demonstration of plant cultivation technologies that can be applied to future exploration in space. 

EDEN ISS will provide fresh food for the crew at Neumayer III Antarctic station, February thru December 2018.

EDEN ISS three distinct sections, Rendering: LSG

EDEN ISS is a Mobile Test Facility, designed and constructed by the EDEN ISS team and is comprised of three distinct sections; cold porch/airlock, service section, and Future Exploration Greenhouse. 

EDEN ISS external platform, Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institute

The Mobile Test Facility will be placed on top of an external platform located approximetely 400m south of Neumayer Station III. 

EDEN ISS service section, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

The service section of the EDEN ISS Mobile Test Facility, houses the main support subsystems, including: thermal, power, air management and nutrient/water subsystems and provides working space for pre- and post-harvest procedures.

EDEN ISS experiment prototype for the International Space Station, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

Located in the service section, is the International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR) with small greenhouse in preparation of flying the experiment to the International Space Station.

EDEN ISS nutrient delivery system, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

A nutrient delivery subsystem allows different nutrient solutions to be applied directly into the root zone of the growing plants.  Access nutrient solution is collected and re-cycled through the system. 

EDEN ISS Future Exploration Greenhouse, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

The Future Exploration Greenhouse is the main plant growth area of the EDEN ISS Mobile Test Facility and consists of a highly adaptable multi-shelf growth system. 

Plants are grown in 60cmx40cm plastic boxes and the entire Future Exploration Greenhouse offers about 12.5m2 of cultivation area. 

EDEN ISS crops, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

Pepper, Cucumber, Tomato, Swiss Chard, Radish, Herbs, Spinach, three varieties of Lettuce, and Strawberries are cultivated in the Future Exploration Greenhouse.

EDEN ISS LED light, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

The Future Exploration Greenhouse uses LED lights. LED’s can be programed to emit different wavelengths; red, blue, magenta (red + blue), and white in color, to effect plant growth.  

EDEN ISS atmosphere, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

The atmosphere is managed through a centralized system which circulates air through the Future Exploration Greenhouse, through a system of air ducts and louvers. 

EDEN ISS sensing and monitoring, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

Thirty cameras and six sensing devices are distributed throughout the Future Exploration Greenhouse to monitor atmospheric conditions, and plant growth.  Images and data sets will be transferred to partner institution, DLR in Germany, for study and analysis purposes. 

EDEN ISS has developed imagery programs for analyzing plant health and for forecasting harvest time and amount. Images can also be used to detect plant growth, as well as the presence of mold, mildew and disease in the growth environment. 

EDEN ISS crop harvesting, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

During the Antarctic mission, samples of all cultivated food will be collected and labeled for research purposes. The quality content of the samples will be compared to the respective growth parameters that were used to cultivate the samples. 


EDEN ISS Mission Control at DLR, Bremen, Photo: Bruno Stubenrauch

The EDEN ISS mission in Antarctica will be monitored and supported from the DLR in Bremen. A special Mission Control Centre was installed to provide efficient communication between the EDEN ISS MTF in Antarctica and project partners in Europe and North America.