Advanced Plant Habitat (APH)

Advanced Plant Habitat (APH)

By Mark Ciotola

Date: April 3, 2021

The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) was designed by SNC and NASA engineers. It is intended for plant research.


Box-like equipment structures

Advanced Plant Habitat (APH). Credit: NASA

“The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) … is a growth chamber on station for plant research. It uses LED lights and a porous clay substrate with controlled release fertilizer to deliver water, nutrients and oxygen to the plant roots. … It is enclosed and automated with cameras and more than 180 sensors that are in constant interactive contact with a team on the ground at Kennedy, so it doesn’t need much day-to-day care from the crew. Its water recovery and distribution, atmosphere content, moisture levels and temperature are all automated.” It has red, green, and blue, white, far red and infrared to allow for a broad range of imaging. “APH had its first test run on the space station in Spring 2018 using Arabidopsis thaliana. … Dr. Norman Lewis is the principal investigator for the Arabidopsis Gravitational Response Omics (Arabidopsis-GRO) consortium study, which will be the first study using APH.” (NASA, Growing Plants In Space)

wheat growing in enclosed chamber

Advanced Plant Habitat growing dwarf wheat (Credit: NASA)