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The Bat Cave EAR

Evie is an aeorspace engineer and will blog about current events in various fields including but not limited to: Space, Astronomy, Genetics, Biology, Green Energy, Neuroscience, Physics, Quantum Physics, Evolution, Environmental issues, Engineering.. Pretty much anything and everything that catches her eye. Stay tuned! Thoughts, comments, requests – always welcomed!

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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What a waist of time. Nothing new for curious people. I can tell the guy is into video gaming a lot. Good graphics and scientific language. Using just that, does not mean it is going to be a good m. . .Read More
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Everyone keeps taking about it but no one does nothing. This mission to clear ll the space junk would cost billions but this should be something that needs to be undertaken by all the countries col. . .Read More
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  Buddha had revealed in his teaching more than 2500 years ago that the sense of self is an illusion created by the mind. many buddhist suttas which recorded the teachings of the B. . .Read More
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Just wanted to say "Great article!" even though nobody's been here for quite awhile. Got here by googling lagrange points upon reading of the deactivation of the Herschel space telescope. Interesti. . .Read More
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Awesome Stuff

Strawberries in Space via Flickr/ Paraflyer
Sunday, July 18, 2010

This isn’t new news, but I find it super cool none the less. I’m a big fan of the strawberry, and also a big fan of space travel. Putting those two together sounds like a good time waiting to happen!

The problem of food in space has been on the minds of many for a long time. You can only carry a limited amount of supplies with you, and currently, there really is no way to replenish said supplies other than waiting on another shipment from Earth. If we want to go out there, explore, and potentially take over the universe (but in a nice way), we need to figure out how to sustain ourselves in space, without relying on incoming shipments from our cozy blue planet. A first step in that direction would be growing our own space crops. There are many problems to tackle when dealing with crop growing in space. You've got your zero g issues, need of nutritious soil, limited water supply, limited space for a garden patch, sunshine requirements for your plants to live on, lack of bugs for pollination, and the list goes on.

Researchers working on a NASA funded project carried out at Purdue University, have come up with a healthy yummy sweet and nutritious space crop candidate – The Seascape Strawberry. This particular variety is very low maintenance, and hence would require minimal work on the part of the crew that will have to monitor and tend to the crop. The Seascape is what’s called a ‘day neutral’ plant, meaning it’s got a lot of flexibility when it comes to the amount of sun it needs in order to grow. The plant was happy and healthy when it was exposed to as much as 20 hours a day of sunlight, and as little as 10 hours a day of sun. That sounds pretty cool to me. I wish I had that big of a comfort zone. I get cranky when it gets overcast, and I can’t see the pretty sun for even a short while.

The researchers found something remarkable about this particular variety of Strawberry. As it turns out, the Seascape plant produced a lower number of strawberries, when exposed to sunlight for less time. However, the total volume of strawberry produce was the same in this case, as it was when the plant was exposed to sunlight for twice as many hours per day. So, more sunlight exposure per day yielded more individual strawberries. Less sunlight exposure per day, yielded less individual strawberries, but each strawberry was larger. Even the researches were surprised by this result. Cary Mitchell, professor of horticulture, who was in charge of testing had this to say: "I was astounded that even with a day-neutral cultivar we were able to get basically the same amount of fruit with half the light." The researchers are planning to continue their work, and try to grow the strawberries using LED lighting, hydroponics and see how they deal with different temperature ranges.

I don’t know about you, but I think space travel just got a little bit sweeter!

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Blog Comments

Future Corpse
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Excellent article, Space Girl. But I have to admit, I was aroused. Strawberries. ;)

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I think the next step is a strawberry smoothie in space. Yummy.
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