Astro Garden (Astro Garden) - 01.09.14
Science Objectives for Everyone
The Astro Garden, used in the Educational Payload Operations - Kit C Plant Growth Chambers (EPO-Kit C), is a small, unpowered chamber used for growing plants in microgravity. Plants are grown from seeds that have been preplanted in a plastic root module; the shoots are contained within a flexible bellows.
Science Results for Everyone
Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, WI, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2007 - October 2007
Previous ISS Missions
ISS Expedition 15 was the first mission for the Astro Garden.
- The Astro Garden uses the attraction of space flight to capture the interest of students and motivate them to consider careers in science, mathematics, technology, engineering, and geography. In addition, the plants that are grown provide a sense of relaxation and creation and can be eaten to supplement the crew's diet.
- Crewmembers maintain the plants and capture still images of the plants' growth. After the initial mission, the chambers can be reused at the crew's discretion.
The Astro Garden measures 17.8 cm x 10.1 cm x 5 cm collapsed and 17.8 cm x 10.1 cm x 25.4 cm fully extended. It weighs 0.337 kg and requires no power. The Astro Garden is sent into microgravity dry and containing preplanted seeds; it can remain in stowage on orbit for several months prior to experiment initialization. To initiate the experiment, water is added to the root module using the syringe, and the chamber is placed near an existing light source. Crewmembers add water as needed, observe the growth, and eventually harvest the plants. Operations
- Water will be added to the Astro Garden to initiate plant growth. Crewmembers will monitor the plants daily and capture the growth process on digital imagery. The imagery and video will be downlinked to Earth for use in educational materials.
Ground Based Results Publications
- NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009?Astro_Garden
- NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009?Astro_Garden
NASA Image: ISS015E23475 - View of plant growth in an Astro Garden collapsible growth chamber used in the Education Payload Operations (EPO) - Kit C experiment. The experiment took place in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny, during ISS Expedition 15.
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