Baby red romaine lettuce growing in a vertical farm, technology made possible thanks to space agtech innovation.
- Space innovation can transform terrestrial agriculture, as it has other sectors.
- Vertical farming and LED lighting are two past examples of agtech developed in space.
- Seeds could be the next frontier for space agtech.
The effects of climate change are impossible to ignore, particularly as record-breaking temperatures, tides and weather events wreak havoc across the globe. Worldwide, 12 million hectares of land valuable to agriculture are lost every year, and global agriculture production will need to increase by 70% to meet the demand of an expanding population. It’s no surprise that we are seeing steady growth, investment and, most importantly, innovation in the agtech market, including the space industry.
The value that space innovation has already created here on Earth is immeasurable. NASA says its return on investment on the US economy is more than three times its annual budget. From cellular data and hurricane predictions to robotics and health science, many aspects of our lives are made significantly easier, more efficient or more enjoyable thanks to the breakthroughs and utilization made in space. We are now seeing tremendous potential for research and technological advancement for agtech in space, with applications that will both enable future prolonged extraterrestrial habitation, as well as improve agricultural practices here on Earth.
Developing sustainable and scalable food sources for astronauts will be critical to our ability to successfully establish and expand new destinations in space. A few commercial companies, including Voyager, are actively developing new commercial space stations to replace the International Space Station (ISS), and with these new destinations comes a need to provide nutrient-dense food for inhabitants.Continue reading… “To boldly grow: how space agtech shapes farming on Earth”