Washington: Located in Europe’s Columbus module, NASA’s experiment is the latest in a study of plants growing in microgravity.
With plans to visit the moon and Mars, future astronauts will need a regular, fresh source of food to travel these missions away from home. In addition to providing more vitamins and minerals, plants growing in space help stabilize and add to the domestic connection in search of it.
Growing plants in the International Space Station’s microgravity conditions has allowed researchers to better maintain this view: European research shows that plants respond best to red and blue light, giving the Columbus module Feels like a disco.
Because plants no longer have the gravity to root their soil, the seeds are planted in ‘pillows’ that help distribute fertilizer and water evenly across the roots.
Radishes were chosen because it is a model plant. Their cultivation is short-lived and is genetically similar to that of plants, as is often the case in Arabidopsis. Radish is also full of food and nutrition, now this consignment is ready for harvest any day. Samples will be sent back to Earth for study.
Advanced Plant Habitat is a self-sufficient chamber that requires very little intervention from astronauts. It is equipped with LED lights, unprotected dust, more than 180 sensors and cameras regulated by researchers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. From there, plant growth is monitored and conditions are adjusted as needed to improve water and fertilizer distribution and control humidity and temperature levels.
The next ESA astronaut to launch the station is Thomas Pesquet for Alpha Mission. Happy to arrive in spring 2021, Thomas may have to try another batch of vegetables growing in space.
STAY TUNED WITH US FOR MORE INTERESTING CONTENT ONLY ON DESINEW.XYZ