New Greenhouse and Waste-Water Recycling System is Subject of Study for MDRS Sim Crews this Field Season Mars Society

The 2002 MDRS field season has started with a new addition to the station, the H. T. Odum greenhouse. After the first greenhouse succumbed to the 60-plus-mph Utah winds last season, several teams of volunteers from the society’s GreenHab group installed a new beefed-up design this summer and fall. The 12′ long, 14′ diameter cylindrical structure is made of a sturdy steel frame with clear polycarbonate glazing panels donated by Suntuf, Inc. The Suntuf SUNLITE (R) and Suntuf (R) panels are clear, rigid, light-weight and nearly indestructible. Before the new structure was installed, 12-18″ of desert soil was excavated, then backfilled into the bottom of the cylindrical structure as a foundation for the insulated floor. In addition to several tons of soil ballast, the structure is secured with steel guy cables on the sides and ends. It was designed as an analog of an inflated Martian greenhouse and houses the ‘living machine’ aqueous biome component of the new water recycling system.