Engineering Plants For Vertical Farms Feasibility Study

Vertical farming with hydroponics offers a precise way to deliver scarce nutrients and water to plants in a way that uses more of the available space in an enclosed area. These features seem to make vertical hydroponic farming a perfect fit for space exploration. However, the technique is not suitable for every variety of plant. Staples like wheat and corn grow too tall to make efficient use of vertical space.

I propose that we initiate a study on the feasibility of adapting plants, perhaps first focusing on wheat and corn, to the common parameters for vertical hydroponic farming. Imagine corn and wheat with full sized grains but short stocks and root systems. In practice this may involve selective breading or direct genetic modifications. If successful, this research could benefit future space explorers and provide immediate benefits to farmers here at home.

Roles: Lead scientist, Lab Assistant