Project description & goals The goal of "Food for Martian table" project is to develop life sustaining system on Mars for harvesting and growing plants serving as a food source for astronauts and also oxygen/carbon dioxide level control in human habitat.

This project is solving the Growing Food for a Martian Table challenge.


System scheme: System is composed of six hexagonal separate greenhouses, forming a ring, with seventh in center as main habitat for astronauts. Each of cells is devided into six triangules with other plant in each triangule. Three cells will be supporting six different plants, as the other three cells will support another six types of plants. This way each cell has two back-up cells.

Each cell will be sent on Mars before the manned mission close to target spot. As the time of manned mission is lifetime, the time factor do not have to be treated so strictly. Assembling one cell/month, using Mars ground as substrate for plantations, the life cycle of cell is targeting six months before the soils will be fully extracted form substrate and being replaced, after gaining all moisture, with new Martian ground.

All cells have their own separate systems: - pressure control: Achieved by rigid module panels of triangular structure filled with CO2 that keeps the thermal radiation inside the habitat during the night, and during the day, the C02 panels let the radiations in, so we don't need to waste energy warming the habitat. - temperature control: Achieved by radiators system and specially designed module panels able of self control of day/night thermal control. - water system: Keeping as ideal closed loop system as possible, water losses will be regenerated with synthesis of water, resupply missions from Earth and potential Martian water sources if found. - power systems: Solar panels, modified wind turbines that works in low density Mars atmosphere and RTG - light system: Provides plants the specific wavelenght light with LED substituting the lack of light and extending the growth rate factor

All those systems are monitored using Arduino and Raspberry Pi: For each cell there's a “central Arduino” monitoring pressure, ambient temperature, humidity and light intensity. Also, each plant has his own “Arduino-plant”, that measures the soil humidity, the soil ph, and water temperature. Every “Arduino-plant” sends all the measured data to the “central Arduino of the cell” with a radio-frequency module. Then, the “central-Arduino” of each cell send all his data to the Raspberry Pi using the same system.

All the received data is stored in the Raspberry Pi, treated and shown via html-interface with graphics. All the Raspberry Pi and Arduino code we used is available in the Source Code/Project URL: with some photos we've taken during the SpaceAppsChallenge.

Plants chosen for the planting are; - Spirulina: Fully nutritious food with daily rate of growth measured in kilograms. - Stewia: Plant 300 times sweeter than sacharose, containing no carbohydrates - Strawberries: Covering minerals and micro-macroelements - Spider plant: Inedible plant, it has one of the fastest oxygen production factors beeing perfect for providing breathable atmosphere. Of all plants the special interest we take in plants with rhizome system of reproducting in order to achieve self sustaining system with on need of receining new seeds. Other plants are still in test-phase.

This very short breefing of project provides just the main frame of project content - full project is now being developed by intensive work. Full explanation materials can be provided if requested. Please do not hesitate to contact us, as all feedback is very useful and essential for success!

Project Information

License: GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPL-3.0)

Source Code/Project URL:



  • Janusz Frackowiak
  • Damia Poquet
  • Joan Bono
  • David Riff