NASA has enlisted commercial space company Techshot and kitchenware provider Tupperware Brands to help the agency optimize a plant growth system on board the International Space Station.
Techshot said Tuesday it will work with Tupperware to further develop NASA’s Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System, a design concept meant to replace the component of ISS’ Vegetable Production System that holds the root structure of plants.
PONDS units are designed to lessen the need for astronauts to water plants and serve as single-use devices that will be discarded after plants are harvested.
Tupperware plans to apply its experience in manufacturing, injection molding and food-safe construction materials to develop a system that will work to replace gravity and give plants in space an environment that is nearly equivalent to Earth conditions.
Techshot will support management, safety, verification and integration tasks and provide Tupperware designers with subject matter expertise on areas such as low-gravity fluidics.
The Vegetable Production System can fit up to six PONDS devices and initial units will be delivered to ISS aboard two cargo resupply missions of SpaceX‘s Dragon spacecraft in 2018.
Greenville, Indiana-based Techshot develops spaceflight equipment and offers flight integration services, among others.