MADISON, WI (NASA PR) — Understanding the effects of gravity on plant life is essential in preparing for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. The ability to produce high-energy, low-mass food sources during spaceflight will enable the maintenance of crew health during long-duration missions while having a reduced impact on resources necessary for long-distance travel.
University of Florida-Gainesville co-investigators Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul are no strangers to suborbital research. They’ve been conducting plant research in microgravity since the late 1990s—first on the Space Shuttle and then on the International Space Station (ISS) and parabolic flights, many of which have been facilitated by Flight Opportunities.
More recently, the pair have begun flying their “space plants” (Arabidopsis thaliana) on rockets, including Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and Blue Origin’s New Shepard. We spoke with Ferl and Paul about how they have approached their long-duration research to lead to successful, iterative investigations on multiple flights.
Projects selected from the challenge, sponsored by Target Corporation, seek to improve cotton sustainability by leveraging the International Space Station
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., April 23, 2018 (CASIS PR) — The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today announced the selection of three projects from its Cotton Sustainability Challenge.
The challenge, sponsored by Target Corporation, provided researchers and innovators the ability to propose solutions to improve crop production on Earth by sending their concepts to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.