A Mars Ice Home Use Case

This greenhouse design concept, CYBELE, is a Crop Yielding, Bioregenerative Environment for Lifesupport and Exploration. CYBELE will incorporate ice shielding from the Mars Ice Home (MIH) habitat design and will produce enough food to meet the dietary requirements for a four-person astronaut crew on a 600-sol surface mission to Mars. This design is the combined results for the 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. The design features an automated hydroponic growing system which utilizes a cylinder inside a torus with a surrounding ice dome for radiation protection.

The primary purpose of the greenhouse will be to feed the crew, but it will also support the operation of a closed loop habitat by recycling biomass, energy, water, oxygen (O2), and carbon dioxide (CO2) between the greenhouse and the MIH. With consideration for future missions, the targeted operating lifespan of CYBELE will be the same as the MIH, which is 15 Earth years. This greenhouse will be part of the first effort to establish a long duration human presence on Mars. The technologies that will be used in this series of Martian missions will be tested with cislunar and lun

Project Year


Team Members

Sheila Baber, Eva Birtell, Kaixin Cui, Alexa Escalona, Benjamin Greaves, Kevin S. Kempton (NASA Langley Research Center 2019 BIG Ideas Challenge Developer), Christina Ciardullo (SEArch+ 2019 BIG Ideas Challenge Developer)


SEArch+, CloudsAO, NASA Langley Research Center

Further Information