NASA has put one more step ahead in their study of growing and studying crops in Space. Space agency NASA has recently released a 10-second time lapse video of crops growing inside a small chamber. The experiment chamber, about the size of a mini-fridge, is designed to test the growth conditions of plants in space. The wheat plant has grown with a small stop in height.
In February 2017, NASA astronaut Joe Acaba prepared the APH grower by inserting Arabidopsis and dwarf wheat seeds. The Arabidopsis seeds will grow for the first 2.5 weeks, and then the dwarf wheat will grow in the last 2.5 weeks. Inside the habitat, scientists grow plants under a controlled and monitored environment. Humidity, temperature, oxygen, and even carbon dioxide levels can be adjusted depending on types of plants.
“It’s more of a fine-tuned instrument. If a team wants a certain amount of light for an investigation, we can provide that. If we can get seeds that are viable in space and grow multiple generations from that one seed, that’s a new capability. And we now have the space to do that kind of testing with APH. We’ve tried to create a little Mother Earth,” says Bryan Onate, Plant Habitat project manager in the ISS Ground Processing and Research Directorate.
According to the Tech Times, It is a fully automated plant growth facility used for conducting plant bioscience research on the ISS. It is equipped with an automated, closed-loop system known as the Plant Habitat Avionics Real-Time Manager (PHARMER). By expanding the light spectrum through the APH, researchers can grow and study more types of plants in space. With this technology, the light needed by each plant type can be tailored and adjusted to any level within the range of the APH.
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