Greenville-based Techshot Inc. has joined with NASA and Florida-based Tupperware Brands Corp. (NYSE: TUP) to develop an improved system for growing plants on the International Space Station. The group’s goal is to improve upon existing technologies while reducing the amount of time required by crew members to care for the growing plants.
Techshot and Tupperware will work together to manufacture Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery Systems, or PONDS, that will work in space. The PONDS are plant growth units that will house the root structure of the plants, including leafy vegetables and flowers. Techshot says the team’s aim is for the PONDS to give plants a similar growing environment to those on Earth.
Techshot’s involvement in the project includes assisting with management, safety, verification and integration requirements. The company says it will also provide Tupperware designers access to experts in fields such as low-gravity fluidics.
"It’s been great working closely with the talented teams of engineers, designers and scientists at NASA and Tupperware on the PONDS project," Techshot Launch Operations Director Dave Reed said in a news release. "Techshot is eager to help get this new technology approved for flight to the ISS and, perhaps, beyond."
The first of the PONDS units are expected to launch to the ISS in the third and fourth quarters of 2018.