Growing plants in space


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Did anyone see the posts from Scott Kelly (current commander of the International Space Station) at the weekend? He has grown the first ever flower in space! It's a Zinnia, and here are some photos:

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And here it is being in the sun for the first time:

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Growing plants in an artificial environment without gravity has it's difficulties, but it's something that will need to be mastered if humans are going to travel further into the solar system.

Apparently, they are going to attempt growing tomatoes later this year, which will be very interesting. I'm tempted to give NASA a call and put @zigs forward to be their head gardener :D
 
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zigs

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Excellent :)

I packed my bags last night, pre flight, zero hour 9am,
And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then :D
 
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If there's a spare seat then let me know - I'd love a trip into space :D
 

zigs

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You might get drops of Jupiter in your hair :)

I'd love to be an Exobotanist, but i'm scared of heights :eek:
 
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That's amazing Becky! I wonder how they water it and keep the soil in the pot......upside down probably. :)

Tomatoes - do you think they'd be interested in Manx Marvels? :D
 
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I'd love to be an Exobotanist, but i'm scared of heights :eek:

So is Chris Hadfield, and he became the Commander of the ISS :D

Edit: Talking of Chris Hadfield, he's the one in the video below...
 
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That's amazing Becky! I wonder how they water it and keep the soil in the pot......upside down probably. :D

The surface tension of water becomes very apparent when you are in space - it will cling to surfaces, and stay put in absorbent material. Here's a video that shows what happens when you try to wring out a cloth in zero gravity:


So I imagine they grow the plants in a very absorbent substance!
 

zigs

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Can't get much higher than that then :D

That's amazing Becky! I wonder how they water it and keep the soil in the pot......upside down probably. :)

Tomatoes - do you think they'd be interested in Manx Marvels? :D

Doesn't the ISS spin, giving it artificial gravity? :)

Now that would be out of this world :D
 
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Zinnias
They are so willing, hardy and beautiful, what a great choice. :)

For an interesting movie that has a modest tie in (plants in space) watch Silent Running.
I'm sure all the nature lovers on this site will sympathize with Lowell.
 
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Zinnias
They are so willing, hardy and beautiful, what a great choice. :)

For an interesting movie that has a modest tie in (plants in space) watch Silent Running.
I'm sure all the nature lovers on this site will sympathize with Lowell.

I was thinking of that while talking on this thread earlier (y) Remember trying to teach my Daughter how to pot up a tree when she was little and her doing something very similar to the robots in the film, as soon as we'd planted it, she pulled it straight out again :rolleyes:
 
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That's pretty remarkable, but I don't really see the need. OK, it is pretty and nice for the astrounouts, and if it makes him happy, that's a good thing :)
 
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How neat! There's so many things about space that I guess I had never contemplated before - one of those absolutely being gardening and growing plants! I remembered seeing something not too long ago about a Japanese astronaut who was growing lettuce in space - I imagine for similar reasons, needing to know how things grow in those conditions.
 

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That's pretty remarkable, but I don't really see the need. OK, it is pretty and nice for the astrounouts, and if it makes him happy, that's a good thing :)

It was pointed out a few days ago that the human race will be at risk of extinction from modern tech & modified viruses until we can establish permanent off world colonies.

So we need not only to know how to grow things in space, but to feed ourselves up there too.

So if we wipe ourselves off the face of the planet there will be someone to come back when its all over and repopulate.
 
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That's pretty remarkable, but I don't really see the need.

There's not much need for flowers in space, but knowing how to get things to bloom there is a good lesson if you want to grow fruit and vegetables in space. Those will certainly be very useful for longer duration space flights - eg. to and from Mars, or further.

I remembered seeing something not too long ago about a Japanese astronaut who was growing lettuce in space - I imagine for similar reasons, needing to know how things grow in those conditions.

Yeah I saw that too! It seems they're moving on to more and more complex plants :)
 
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That is amazing that they were actually able to grow a flower in space. I watched Martian the other night and Matt Damon grew potatoes on Mars with his own well, uh. poo. I wonder if that would even be possible. The part that confused me in the movie was that he was able to move around and stuff without cables outside. I thought Mars was one of those zero gravity planets, but I could be wrong.
 
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That is amazing that they were actually able to grow a flower in space. I watched Martian the other night and Matt Damon grew potatoes on Mars with his own well, uh. poo. I wonder if that would even be possible. The part that confused me in the movie was that he was able to move around and stuff without cables outside. I thought Mars was one of those zero gravity planets, but I could be wrong.

Funny you mention that as my husband is watching this movie in the background right now! And it was just up to that part, where he was trying to fertilize the soil with his poop!
 
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