Ground Demonstration of Plant Cultivation Technologies and Operation in Space
for Safe Food Production on-board the International Space Station (ISS) and Future Human Space Exploration Vehicles and Planetary Outposts

March 2015 – February 2019
European Union – Horizon 2020 (EU-H2020) project, topic of Space exploration / Life support

A sustained human presence in space requires the development of new technologies to maintain environmental control, manage waste, provide water, oxygen and food, and to keep astronauts healthy and psychologically fit. Innovative food cultivation technologies in closed-loop life support systems must be developed as an integral part of future space systems. The goal of the EDEN ISS project is to advance controlled environment agriculture technologies beyond the state-of-the-art. It focuses on ground demonstration of plant cultivation technologies and their application in space.

EDEN ISS develops a Mobile Test Facility with integrated nutrient delivery system, high-performance LED lighting, bio-detection and decontamination system, imaging systems for monitoring plant health, and robust thermal, power and air management systems. The facility was tested during the EDEN ISS analogue mission in Antarctica (February – November 2018), providing 270 kilos of fresh, edible produce for the crew at the Neumayer III Antarctic station, operated by the Alfred-Wegener-Institute. Today it continues to serve as an analogue environment for testing plant cultivation under extreme environmental and logistical conditions with extended operation until 2021.


Executive Summary (pdf)

Consortium partners  German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Bremen – Germany / LIQUIFER Systems Group – Austria / National Research Council – Italy / University of Guelph – Canada / Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research – Germany / Enginsoft – Italy / Airbus Defense and Space – Germany / Thales Alenia Space, Turin – Italy / Aero Sekur – Italy / Wageningen University and Research – the Netherlands / Heliospectra – Sweden / Limerick Institute of Technology – Ireland / Telespazio – Italy

LIQUIFER team   Waltraut Hoheneder, Barbara Imhof, Bob Davenport, Chris Gilbert, René Waclavicek, Molly Hogle

Image credit: EDEN ISS Consortium