Universe

First Earth Flour in Space

First Earth Flour in Space. On the international space station ISS. It owes the Orange Zinnia green thumb by astronaut Scott Kelly. He had used care instructions by experts over and poured them after feeling.

“Our crops don’t look good. On Mars it would be problems. I’ll let my inner Mark Watney”, tweeted US Astronaut Scott Kelly last December from the ISS. There, he had taken over the care of the flowers, which were planted in November in the Veggie programme of the US space agency NASA in a special space greenhouse Chamber. Their breeding should in particular help scientists to understand how to grow plants in weightlessness and blossom.

Signs of stress on First Earth Flour in Space

But shortly after their germination, the plant began to ail. They showed clear signs of stress: during the growth phase, the leaves began to tilt and roll up, also formed at the edges of the leaves of water droplets. Squeezed out by the plant. Due to high humidity inside. This process, which ensures the nutrient transport in the capillaries with water saturation and helps the plant maintain posture is called Guttation. Because cells filled with water is also a plant that has no wood structure in good shape. At the zinnias, the astronauts evaluated the Guttation, however as a symptom of stress and that the roots were submerged.

First Earth Flour in Space
Stressed plants in space: the international space station ISS research on plants.

The zinnias in the space greenhouse began finally to mouldy and the leaves died off. NASA astronaut Kelly, who has spent more days in space. As any other astronaut worked together with the garden experts on the ground to rescue plans: they throttled the supply of water, turned to the ventilation system in the space greenhouse. But it did not help. The flowers recovered only as Kelly, who has a twin brother, all instructions and ingenious rescue plans overboard threw and poured only after his own feeling. Ultimately, only one survived, but the blooms now even more beautiful. The experiment allows conclusions, inter alia on the cultivation of tomatoes in outer space.

"Yes, there are other life forms in outer space", European astronaut Scott Kelly on January 16th, 2016 showed this picture.
“Yes, there are other life forms in outer space”, European astronaut Scott Kelly on January 16th, 2016 showed this picture.

Growth in zero gravity

The Veggie called space was greenhouse Chamber in may 2014 on the ISS installed for First Earth Flour in Space. It is intended to provide insights into the production of fresh food in the space such as long-term missions. On Earth the roots in the Earth and the green part of the plant in the light use gravity plants apparently, to grow in the right directions . As the German Airspace Center (DLR), plants in the roots and the offspring have specialized cells, where heavy, because starch-rich cell particles always in direction of gravity drop. The cell detects the location of these particles and corrected the alignment of root and shoot of.

First Earth Flour in Space - Scot Kelly
Selfie ISS astronaut Scott Kelly: the recording is from the August 2015. In the background, farmed salad can be seen on the space station.

Since plants breathe, one does care for the optimum air circulation inside the greenhouse Chamber so that they do not choke on their own emissions. Another problem in weightlessness is that the water in the breeding ground can distribute so that it encloses the roots air-tight. In the Veggie irrigation system the water therefore Wicks is transported so that the roots get sure enough oxygen. First Earth Flour in Space growing differently without gravity.