GreenCube: the space micro-garden 6,000 km from Earth

The space garden begins its cultivation in orbit thanks to the GreenCube project coordinated by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), within which the Sapienza University of Rome, with the collaboration of ENEA and the Federico II University of Naples, has created a nano-satellite dedicated to the cultivation of micro-vegetables in space, beyond low orbits.

The tiny satellite, measuring 10 x 10 x 30 cm, arrived in space with the qualification launch of ESA’s new Vega-C carrier, which departed from the Kourou space base (French Guiana) on 13 July.

The heart of GreenCube consists of a pressurized chamber for the cultivation of micro-vegetables, inside which a series of sensors constantly monitors the environmental parameters. The control system allows you to adjust the main environmental factors, such as light, temperature, and the distribution of the nutrient solution, in order to optimize plant growth.

After being put into orbit, the correct functioning of all onboard subsystems was checked, and the temperature inside the growth chamber was gradually brought to levels compatible with plant growth. The small satellite, whose orbit passes within the Van Allen belts, is demonstrating excellent resistance to the extremely hostile environment in which it is located, characterized by high levels of radiation.


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