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Redwire’s space greenhouse could fly as early as 2023

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Redwire announced Tuesday that it will develop the first commercial space greenhouse. The project, funded by an award from the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab, will generate insights to support both crop science on Earth and future exploration missions.

Redwire Greenhouse will not fly until spring 2023 and, if all goes according to plan, will be the first commercial greenhouse on the ISS.

“Growing full crops in space will be critical to future space exploration missions as plants recover food, oxygen and water,” said Dave Reed, Redwire Florida Launch Site Operations director and Greenhouse project manager, in a press release. “Increasing the throughput of crop production research in space, through commercially developed capabilities, will be important to provide critical insights for NASA’s Artemis missions and beyond.”

Redwire is no stranger to the space plants game. The mission will utilize Redwire’s already flyable plant growth technology, including passive orbital nutrient delivery systems. These devices, developed in collaboration with Tupperware, are currently on the ISS. Redwire has also been managing plant studies in NASA’s Advanced Plant Habitat since 2018.

Who buys?

Redwire’s client for the inaugural flight is expected to be Dewey Scientific, an agtech company focused on cannabis science. The team plans to conduct a 60-day gene expression study to advance biomedical and biofuel research by growing industrial hemp in space.

Look forward to something

This is only the first step for Redwire’s foray into the greenhouse. The space infrastructure company will use this first mission to test kinks in the operation, lighting, ventilation and containment functions of leaf litter. After the in-space demo, it hopes to provide a simple, scalable commercial product for civilian and commercial customers, enabling them to make the leap from small-scale lab experiments to real-life production in space.

This story originally published On payload and is republished here with permission.

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