NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-Plant Growth (NanoRacks-VCHS-Plant Growth) - 05.13.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-Plant Growth (NanoRacks-VCHS-Plant Growth) is a NanoLab project studying the growth and growth rate of Wisconsin Fast Plant and English Thyme seeds in microgravity.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Valley Christian High School, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Valley Christian High School , San Jose, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Dan Saldana, ISS Project Leader, Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA, United States

Developer(s)
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2011 - May 2012

Expeditions Assigned
29/30

Previous ISS Missions
None

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • When astronauts travel to Mars, sufficient room is not available to take all the food they needed for the three year trip. Some of their food must be grown aboard the space vehicle. Research is required to determine the best method to provide an automated plant growth system.


  • Two sets of Wisconsin Fast Plants and two sets of English Thyme seeds are grown in a totally automated plant growth system consisting of four plant growth tubes, one pressurized water storage surgical bag, one water control valve, four white LEDS, four violet LEDs, a programmable Stamp Microcontroller, and a digital camera. The microcontroller waters the seeds in a predetermined water profile. The violet LEDS illuminate the plants to simulate the sun’s rays. The white LEDs turn on to illuminate the plants whenever the digital camera takes a photo to record the plant growth.


  • The NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-Plant Growth experiment research is used to increase the public’s knowledge and to bring space research to a high school level. This research will add to the Valley Christian High School Student’s plant growth knowledge gained after last year’s successful NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School Plant Seed Growth launched on January 22, 2011 and returned on March 15, 2011 via a Russian Soyuz.

Description
Two sets of Wisconsin Fast Plants and two sets of English Thyme seeds are grown in a totally automated plant growth system consisting of four plant growth tubes, one pressurized water storage surgical bag, one water control valve, four white LEDS, four Violet LEDs, a programmable Stamp Microcontroller, and a digital camera. The microcontroller waters the seeds in a predetermined water profile. The violet LEDS illuminate the plants to simulate the sun’s rays. The white LEDs turn on to illuminate the plants whenever the digital camera takes a photo to record the plant growth.

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Applications

Space Applications
If astronauts are going to travel to Mars, they will not have sufficient room to take all the food they will need for the three year trip. They will have to grow some of their food aboard the space vehicle. Research is required to determine the best method to provide an automated plant growth system.

Earth Applications
A similar and larger totally automated plant growth design could be used to grow plants in any area of a home, including the basement and attic, reducing the amount of land required to provide food for the world’s rapidly increasing human population.

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Operations

Operational Requirements
NanoRacks Module-18 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. NanoRacks Module-18 does not return to earth.

Operational Protocols
Crew interaction with Module-18 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary), and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

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Results/More Information

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Related Websites
NanoRacks
Valley Christian School

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Imagery

image NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-Plant Growth Experiment Experiment Block Diagram. Image courtesy of Valley Christian High School.
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