Photos of 2019 BIG Idea Challenge Forum Awards Ceremony, plus winning teams. Marsboreal Greenhouse Design

NASA’s 2019 BIG Idea Challenge Winner Designs Best Planetary Greenhouse

Dartmouth was announced the winning team of the fourth annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge April 24 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Massachusetts Institute of Technology University was awarded second place.

NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge engages universities in engineering design to develop space exploration concepts for the Moon to Mars. Earlier this year, five innovative designs for a human-scale Marsboreal greenhouse were selected to compete in the 2019 BIG Idea forum. Teams from Dartmouth College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Davis, University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Michigan convened at Langley April 23 to present their greenhouse designs and prototypes. The ideas are derived from the Mars ice home designs, with potential aspects that could be demonstrated on the Moon.

Similar to the SIMOC research project at the Biosphere 2, it was determined that SIMOC could be used to generate non-linear functions for CO2 sequestration for each of the principal plants used in the Dartmouth team’s design, thereby enabling a data-driven model for the transpiration of the total plant ecology. The Dartmouth team worked tirelessly to conduct an extensive literature review and data extraction, from which SIMOC was programmed to generate a reciprocal dataset and function for each of the modeled plants.

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