GreenHab Report – December 24th

GreenHab Report:

We have some good news and some bad news to report from the
GreenHab today.  As is customary, bad news first.  It seems that the
heater in the GreenHab has stopped heating.  We have been monitoring
the temperature both inside and outside the GreenHab since Sol 1 and
despite the warmer weather, the temperature within the GreenHab is now
within 5 degrees F of the outside temperature which is the closest it
has ever been.  Inspecting the heater, it is apparent that it is just
circulating air and not performing any heating action.  We are thus
taking actions to protect the plants by moving them into the living
habitat in order to prevent death.  Now for the good news!  Our
seedlings are doing great!  In addition to the sprouts we reported
yesterday, we can now see that several onion, at least three popcorn,
and a pinto bean have germinated and will soon be ready for nutrient
and transplant.  Hopefully we will be able to put them into the
aquaponics system by the time they are ready for transplant.


Max/Min: Outdoor Temp – 33 F – 48 F

Outdoor Humidity – 65% – 93%

GreenHab Temp – 47 F – 66 F

GreenHAB Humidity – 45% – 59%

Barometer – 29.00 – 29.53 inHg

Wind – 6.5 mph, gust – 7.4 mph

Solar Rad. Max – 162.5 W/m^2

UV Index – 505 uW/cm^2

Recorded Precipitation today – 0.02 in

GreenHab Report – December 23rd


We are afraid the plants in the GreenHab may die.  The temperatures
are just not favorable for plant growth.  The GreenHab is too hot
during sunny days and too cold while the sun is obscured.   The
GreenHab is not sealed well enough to stabilize the inside
temperature.  Almost all of the plastic located inside of the GreenHab
has noticeable heat deformation making several of the items unusable.
Also, the seeds that were stored out there are not viable.  The seeds
that we brought with us have germinated but no growth is being seen
from those supplied through MDRS, likely due to the heat they were
stored in.  The heater is severely undersized to keep up with the
thermally inefficient GreenHab structure.  Radish, lettuces and
mystery crop are germinating very well in the crew quarters.

Warmest Regards,

GreenHab Report – December 22nd

GreenHab Report:

Today marked the completion of the transplantation effort in the GreenHab.  We have assembled eight total conveyor trays (four Red Oak Lettuce and four Green Oak Lettuce in both hydroponic solution and in soil) and one tray with a density experiment which was planted in soil.  The slow process of sealing the GreenHab also began today.  We have continued to notice that despite the near continuous operation of the heater, the GreenHab does not stay within an acceptable temperature range.  At night, the temperature gets down to between 48 F and 54 F which is not conducive to productive and rapid plant growth that is necessary to sustain a healthy astronaut’s diet.  In order to help prevent some of the theorized leakage of heated air, clear caulk is being used to seal the places at the top of the GreenHab where air could escape.  This is a difficult process as the materials from which the GreenHab is constructed are clearly not meant to be used for a greenhouse.  We are concerned there may not be enough caulk on Mars to seal the GreenHab.  I hope future crews can figure out how to stabilize the temperature. Finally, the seedlings are germinating at excellent rates!  We can easily identify growth in the radish, green and red oak lettuce, carrot, and mystery crop.  Yay mystery crop!​

Thank you,

-Sean Gellenbeck


 SEDS-MDRS Crew GreenHab Officer #2

GreenHab Report – December 21st

Today began the transplantation of lettuce plants into the Greenhab!
We chose our heartiest crop as the test cultivar for GreenHab
conditions.  Temperatures have seemed to normalize but today was
completely cloud-covered and therefore hostile conditions may return
with the sun.  We are leveraging differences in soil and hydroponic
systems in order to compare which growing systems may have advantages
in an analog Martian habitat. Conveyor plant stages were setup for Red
Oak Lettuce today.  Eight developmental stages will be present by the
end of the mission. Six were carefully separated from the Rockwool in
order to minimize root damage and planted into equal volumes of wet
soil.  The hydroponic setup involved creating a hydroponic solution
suitable for the broad range of plant life stages present in the
conveyor experiment.  This involved starting with tap water and first
adding a nutrient solution to get the electrical conductivity (EC) to
an appropriate level.  This brought the EC to about 1.9 mS/cm.  The
next step was to lower the pH to a slightly basic value.  After
calibrating the sensor, the pH was reading 6.06 which was well within
the acceptable range.  If all goes well, Green Oak Lettuce and other
cultivars will be transplanted tomorrow.