The 10 million basil seeds that flew in space on the STS-118 space shuttle mission have moved one step closer to the classroom. The seeds were returned to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 4, 2007, and were packaged and sent to Park Seed Company, located in Greenwood, S.C. At Park Seed Company, the seeds will be sorted and placed in small packets, each packet containing approximately 50 seeds. The packets of space-flown seeds and control packets of seeds that have not flown will then be distributed to educators who have registered to take part in the Engineering Design Challenge. The seeds will be packaged in a commemorative envelope with an insert that provides additional information about the seeds.
For the trip into space, the 10 million basil seeds were packed in resealable bags, then pink, poly heat-sealed bags and finally a second resealable bag with Velcro. Credit: NASA
One packet of the 10 million basil seeds was removed from its storage compartment during the STS-118 mission of space shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
Jon Neubauer, from NASA's Johnson Space Center, forwarded the seeds to Park Seed Company in South Carolina. Credit: NASA