INNO-3B: from Kamouraska to NASA
Growing nutritious plants to provide fresh food for future interplanetary travelers or for longer astronaut missions in space without refueling is a technology developed by INNO-3B in Saint-Pacôme. The project is so unique that the Kamouraska company is invited by NASA to talk about its project.
The E vice president of engineering of INNO-3B David Brault, will be one of thirty specialists handpicked in America to participate in a workshop organized by NASA Kennedy Space Center, on 6 and 7 August Florida. It will be a workshop on concepts related to production in a closed environment, especially for installation in space or on the Moon.
“Fifteen years ago, we were talking more about a mission to go to Mars and there were projects happening everywhere in the universities,” says the co-founder of INNO-3B. The program fell in favor of a return to the moon. […] Technology is evolving in terms of lighting, knowledge and biology, which means that staple food production for people living in space is always a developing topic. ”
According to David Brault, there is no food production in space, except for a few small experiments that have been done. It is for this reason that NASA seems very interested in the technology developed by INNO-3B. “[…] We are invited to attend the workshop to discuss the challenges and possible solutions, technological approaches to produce in space,” says David Brault, who holds a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from ‘Laval University. This includes discussing climate control, the required workforce, automation management, and how to handle crop residues.
The INNO-3B technology, founded five years ago, consists of a fully enclosed tower that can reach heights of up to 10 meters, where plants are grown on shelves. On each of them, the light, the temperature, the humidity and the movement of air are maintained at optimal conditions. A robotic system places and removes the plants in the tower. “These are not greenhouses,” says Brault.