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Antarctic veggies

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    The EDEN-ISS greenhouse is designed and insulated to withstand the harsh conditions of the Antarctic winter, where temperatures drop to minus-30 degrees Celsius and no sunlight breaks the darkness of the polar night for months.

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    Radishes before harvesting in the EDEN-ISS greenhouse at the Neumeyer-Station III on Antarctica. Every five to 10 minutes, the plants are sprayed automatically with a water-nutrient mixture so that they can be cultivated without using soil. LEDs produce a blend of red and blue light that illuminates the plants for 16 hours a day to mimic a summer day-night cycle.

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    Engineer Paul Zabel holds fresh salad greens he harvested in the greenhouse at the Neumeyer-Station III on Antarctica.

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    Various salad greens that were harvested in the EDEN-ISS greenhouse. Like a space station, the greenhouse has a completely closed air circuit, including an airlock through which researchers enter the greenhouse every day. The air is filtered and sterilized using UV radiation to keep it free from germs and fungal spores, and any water vapor released by the plants is recovered and fed back to them.

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