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China's Antarctica Great Wall station

"Green vegetables are growing vigorously in the icy and snowy polar regions"

At the Great Wall Station in Antarctica, Tongji University has built a greenhouse that has won the National Science and Technology Progress Award. Green vegetables are growing vigorously in the icy and snowy polar regions. 

The environment in Antarctica is harsh and rather 'plantless', but people cannot do without vegetables. Dr. Hu, who works at the station, said that at the end of last year and early this year, the team members in the station had problems with their health from time to time. Some were due to the environment and work pressure, but some were due to a lack of vegetables. Therefore, growing vegetables in Antarctica has become a crucial part of the researchers' work. 

Professor Shu Yu, one of the developers of the greenhouse, said that the greenhouse adopts an "artificial lighting system" to meet the needs of plant growth and photosynthesis as there is limited sunlight in the polar regions. Furthermore, the automatic supply of nutrients is used to meet the nutrient needs of plant growth, and artificial supplementary heating provides enough warmth to meet the plants' needs.

Dr. Hu continued to explain that there are various technical systems in the greenhouse such as soilless cultivation, computer control, LEDs that can automatically adjust the lighting duration according to the growth of vegetables, and an automatic irrigation system that injects a nutrient solution into the gutter every hour. When the relative humidity in the greenhouse is lower than 70%, there is a humidification system that will spray water mist into the room.

"The cucumbers are green and shiny, and they taste crisp and sweet," Dr. Hu said proudly. "Now, team members who are overwintering at the Great Wall Station can eat cucumbers the next day."

Read the complete article (in Chinese) and see the pictures at www.chinanews.com.


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