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NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School-Plant Growth (NanoRacks-VCHS-Plant_Growth)
12.05.12

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

Experiment Overview

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

Brief Summary

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.

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, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization

    National Laboratory Education (NLE)

    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 sunís 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 publicís knowledge and to bring space research to a high school level. This research will add to the Valley Christian High School Studentís plant growth knowledge gained after last yearís 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 sunís 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 worldís 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
  • Valley Christian School
  • NanoRacks
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    Imagery

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


    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Payloads-Helpline.