Plants in space!

Botany

Hilde Jacobsen, g.h.jacobsen@nhm.uio.no | 27/11/12 | Oslo

In December Norwegian plants will be sent into space as part of an international collaboration project including researchers from NTNU in Trondheim.


Light and gravity affect the growth of plants in a similar manner. Plants grow towards light and against gravity (upward) and plant roots grow away from light and towards gravity (downwards). One assumes, however, that the biological processes inside plants are differently affected by light and gravity.


This is not the first time plants have been sent into space. Scientists have studied how gravity, or the absence thereof , affects germination and plant growth. Read more about previous experiments on these pages: http://www.romsenter.no/?module=Articles; action = Article.publicShow, ID = 50537
http://www.forskning.no/artikler/2008/mars/1204817444.6
Or take a look at this clip from Newton: http://www.nrk.no/nett-tv/indeks/109131/

The goal for the upcoming experiment is to find out how different lighting conditions affect plant growth. To eliminate the effect of gravity, one must perform experiments in weightlessness. Space is therefore the natural place to do this.

Plants are an important source of food on Earth. New knowledge about the effect of light on plant growth can be used to improve growing conditions to obtain better yields. Growing plants in space can also make it possible for astronauts to grow their own food on long journeys.


Read more about the experiment on these websites:
http://samforsk.no/Sider/Omtaler/Skyter-nye-planter-opp-i-verdensrommet.aspx
http://nysgjerrigper.no/Artikler/2012/september/norske_planter_paa_romferd

The website viten.no features an interactive lesson on plants in a room. Here you can learn in an exciting way about the plants' needs here on Earth and how they are affected in space.

http://www.viten.no/vitenprogram/vis.html?prgid=uuid:7314FC64-5404-2689-0377-0000113605CE&tid=uuid:7314FC64-5404-2689-0377-0000113605CE



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