Description of the project

Our team’s problem is dust. But not any kind of dust. We are going to solve a problem related to dangerous dust that is created aboard the ISS.

Every week 1,5 kilos of dust is created by a crew of six people. That dust is dangerous to humans, because it can cause digestive problems and skin irritation. That dust is got rid of by cleaning it up with vacuum cleaners and air filters. But the problem is that the air filters get full of dust and have to be replaced very often. The filters on the ISS are switched out every month. The air filters that are full of dust are sent off with the spaceshuttle that brings food to the ISS. That shuttle usually burns up in the atmosphere, but sometimes it doesn’t and then it lands on the earth and just stays there. But on longer spaceflights that way of getting rid of the air filters wouldn’t work, because sending a rocket to mars just to bring back the filters would cost way too much. Each kg of stuff NASA sends into space costs them 10 000 dollars, so sending fuel for the trip to mars, the fuel for coming back and a whole spaceshuttle would cost NASA about 1 000 000 dollars. So, our team thought, that maybe we could grow plants in the air filters that are full of dust. That way, the astronauts get food, the air filters get reused, the dust gets turned into something actually useful and NASA doesn’t have to waste so much money on launching food into space.

 

A Comparison of the ISS, 2017, loetud: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/a-comparison-of-the-iss