Beans to be grown in ISS in 2021!

Beans to be grown in ISS in 2021!

New research suggests that after cultivating lettuce in space three years ago, crew members aboard the International Space Station could be growing beans in 2021. In high-tech planters the beans could be planted developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).The planters can regulate all the water, nutrients, and gas and air the plants need.NTNU was collaborating with Italian and French researchers in their quest to cultivate plant-based food for long space journeys.To sustain the crew in future deep space missions the food grown in space could be crucial.The longest stays at the International Space Station have been six months, while people travelling to Mars will need to be prepared to stay in space for at least a year.In 2030,The European Space Agency plans to build a lunar base as a stopover on the way to Mars. Three experiments were performed by the researchers, the first two experiments determined the effect of restricted rooting and nutrient solution volumes, and based on this a third experiment was performed to evaluate the response of the plant to various nitrate nutrient solution concentrations. They found that plants can, in a way, ‘smell’ the amount of nutrients available to them. The plant will absorb more water, when the nitrogen concentration is very low and requires more nitrogen until it reaches an optimal level.When the nitrogen level is adequate the plant has a mechanism that turns on. Then it adjusts both nitrogen and water absorption down.In space the next step is to grow beans to observe the effect of no gravity on plants’ ability to transport water and absorb nutrients. In the space station the beans would be placed in a centrifuge to sprout and grow. For creating different amounts of gravity the centrifuge would be rotated.This is how they create a setup that produces both the microgravity conditions in the space station and the 1-g (gravity) force that exists on Earth. That will allow them to compare how the different gravitational levels affect the plants in space.

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