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Educational Experiment Investigates Plant Growth in Microgravity
09.30.11
 
Plants In Space experiment on the International Space Station and cover page of Plants In Space educator's guide.

Plants in Space experiment on the International Space Station and Plants in Space educator's guide. Images credit: BioServe

Related Links

› Fact Sheet: Spiders, Fruit Flies and Directional Plant Growth

› Video: "Plants in Space"

› BioEd Online: Join the Mission!

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Space and Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are currently funding the "Plants in Space" International Space Station (ISS) research experiment. This educational experiment, designed for middle and high school students, compares the growth of plants in a microgravity environment to a control group of plants grown here on Earth.

The primary science goal of this experiment is to investigate the influence of light on root orientation, and determine if white light, heavy in the blue spectrum, can influence the direction of root growth in microgravity. Students and teachers compare their observations and the results of the investigation conducted in space on the ISS with their own ground-based control group of plants grown in the classroom.

Teachers' guides and educational products for the "Plants in Space" experiment are available at the BioEdOnline website.