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Plants in Space

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Plants in Space

The word Plants below light green leaf

Content in this section supports the concept of growing crops in space and the symbiotic relationship between plants and space travelers. Plants in space are beneficial for a number of reasons. They provide nourishment for the body when eaten as food, and they improve the quality of indoor air. Plants take the carbon dioxide from air to produce oxygen that humans can breathe. Find information about how plants, people, microbes and machines work together in self-contained space vehicles.


Lesson Plans

NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber (Grades K-12)
What's for dinner on the moon? Astronauts will need to grow food when they return to the moon and eventually travel to Mars. Join the challenge to design and build a lunar plant growth chamber.

Educator Guides for Lunar Plant Growth Chambers:
Life Science Themed Units and Camps (Grades 4-6)
NASA's Summer of Innovation Project provides theme-based units: The Body, Food, Life Out There?, Plants, and Survival. Professional development training modules are available for educators on the website. 

Hydroponic Systems Activity (Grades 9-12) 
Students work with one or more hydroponic systems and collect data for a four-week period to determine which system resulted in the best plant growth.
 

Videos

Liftoff to Learning: Plants in Space 
Elementary students participated in a plant growth experiment with astronauts on the space shuttle. View video segments about the experiment at the links below.

Our World: Plants in Space
Find out how plants use light to make their own food in a process called photosynthesis.

 

Podcasts/Vodcasts

NASA Edge: Space Life Science Lab
Meet NASA scientists Dr. Carlos Calle and Dr. Ray Wheeler as they talk about work done inside the Space Life Sciences Laboratory. Dr. Calle talks about the challenges of protecting NASA assets from dust in space, the moon, Mars and other stellar locations. Dr. Wheeler talks about growing plants in space that could help astronauts protect themselves from radiation via their diet.

Space Seeds Return to Earth
Seed pods from a commercial gardening experiment aboard the International Space Station were returned to Earth.

In Search of Moon Trees
Scattered around our planet are hundreds of trees that were grown from seeds that had been to the moon and back again. Find out if one is in your neighborhood.

 

Interactives

BLiSS Sim (All Ages)
You're "stuck" on the moon or relocated to Mars. How are you going to survive for months and possibly years without resupply? This is the challenge you face in the Biogenerative Life Support System Sim.
BLiSS Sim is only available for the iPad.

 

Related Sites

Why Study Plants in Space?
Why is NASA conducting plant research aboard the International Space Station?

Station Investigation to Test Fresh Food Experience
Astronauts can grow vegetables in the VEGGIE system on the space station.

Why Grow Plants in Space?
Plant research results contribute to NASA's goals of furthering human exploration of space and improving the quality of life on Earth through applications in medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, and environmental management.

Growing Plants and Vegetables in a Space Garden
A space station study is helping investigators develop procedures and methods that allow astronauts to grow and safely eat space-grown vegetables.

Radishes and Rockets
Researchers hope to determine how to keep the plants healthy in the growing conditions within a spacecraft.

Prozac for Plants
How do you grow plants on Mars? Step one: Relieve their anxiety.

Plant Research on the International Space Station
Scroll down the list to read about plant biology experiments on the space station.
 
Page Last Updated: December 19th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator