Growing Plants in Space

Space, the final frontier. Space is a dangerous yet wonderful aspect of the planet we live on. To experience the vast nature of space, we would need to be launched up approximately 62 miles (100 km or 380,000 feet) high. However, to be able to stay up there, you would need to bring along food and water for your time there.

The ISS (International Space Station) is at a 248 miles (400km) orbital height along with a number of amazing individuals piloting the ISS. One of the great things we take for granted in the fact that Earth is covered in plantations. From large and small trees, to beautiful flowers.

Space is a whole different story, there are zero plants in space which generally means that the chances of life being discovered is very low. One amazing thing the folks at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) are doing is experimenting with plant growth in space.

Specifically, the folks under the APEX (Advanced Plant Experiment) umbrella are working on experimenting on the cultivation and growth of plants in space. They have already learned a great deal and gotten some interesting surprises, specifically how plants grow from a seedling into a full fledged plant in conditions much different to those in Earth.

The video covers some of the things researchers Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul of the University of Florida have learnt.

This study points to future studies, mainly if plants can actually grow on other planets. With all the theories going around, the future is near, even within our lifetime. There are multiple aspects that can affect the growth of crops and plants on a planet, the first is water and the second depends on the type of planetary soil.

Lots of evidence has arisen in the past decade pointing to multiple locations on moons and planets where water or frozen ice is available. However, do these planets provide the correct rock, climate, topography, time and biota?

Nevertheless, what are your thoughts on the growth of plants in space? It’s definitely one of the key steps in the overall journey for humans to go even further.