NASA’s Artemis Mission looks to help better agriculture

Innovation is key for developing the future of agriculture and sometimes it comes from unlikely places.

The NASA Artemis Mission is working to develop space exploration, but here on Earth, they are partnering with the University of California Berkeley to use Land Satellite Seven to benefit agriculture.

According to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, “We can use that data from space and combine it with weather stations from Earth, and we can get very precise evapotranspiration measurements, down to a quarter of an acre. What that means is we can provide farmers with very specific irrigation plans.”

The technology is still in the testing phase but could one day make farming a little easier. “Imagine being a farmer and going out into your field with your iPhone, looking at it and having an app on there that tells you exactly what your irrigation needs to be for this quarter of an acre for this type of soil and this type of crop,” Bridenstine states.

NASA looks to partner with private businesses to bring new technologies to the market. “The challenge is land sat only has a revisit of two weeks,” he notes. “Weather changes a lot in two weeks; so, I think there is a future where a commercial company could create lots of satellites that could provide this data to farmers.”

Another project on the International Space Station, called Eco-Stress, measures heat stress in plants using infrared technology. Both projects hope to answer a key question: “Can we use our earth science capabilities to feed more of the world and save water in the central valley of California, and the answer is-- yes we can.”

NASA works with small business through the SBIR and STTR programs to develop innovative technologies. “The NASA SBIR and STTR programs ares tasked with furthering relevant research and building capabilities with NASA, the commercial aerospace industry and the nation as a whole,” NASA’s Jenn Gustetic states. “We partner with small businesses through the SBIR portion of the program, and research institutions and universities through the STTR portion.”

The goal is to improve life on Earth and in space.

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