Just think about that for a moment, okay? All of life as we know it, literally everything in our records so far, has started on Earth… but not these plants. These are space plants.

These babies have grown up without gravity, swirling around our planet with a few galactic gardeners tending to them. So, what does this mean for us?

Image: An orange blooming zinnia plant that was grown in space floating inside of the ISS with the Earth behind it.

One of the surviving Zinnias grown in space!
Source: Wikipedia // NASA

In order for us to go further into space and possibly colonize a new planet, these plants are needed. Thankfully, they seem to be doing just fine orienting themselves and growing without gravity!

But it’s not just the possibility of eating fresh produce alone that’s exciting, NASA says that “the experiment also is investigating another benefit of growing plants in space: the non-nutritional value of providing comfort and relaxation to the crew.” 1

One of our favorite channels, Seeker, tells us all about what ingenious scientists, astronauts, and their plants have been up to recently, and what the next steps are…

Via: Seeker 2

I’m still finding it so fascinating that plants, even without the gravity they know, tend to grow as they would on Earth. According to an article from National Geographic News in 2012, where they discuss the NASA experiment with plant geneticist, Anna-Lisa Paul, the “new study revealed that the “features of plant growth we thought were a result of gravity acting on plant cells and organs do not actually require gravity.”  3

Here’s a quote from that piece on why:

“Gravity is an important influence on root growth, but the scientists found that their space plants didn’t need it to flourish. The research team from the University of Florida in Gainesville thinks this ability is related to a plant’s inherent ability to orient itself as it grows. Seeds germinated on the International Space Station sprouted roots that behaved like they would on Earth—growing away from the seed to seek nutrients and water in exactly the same pattern observed with gravity.” 4

We just need to figure out a way to ensure proper combinations of resources to keep our green friends healthy and resilient, so that we can stay healthy and resilient while we’re millions of miles away from home.

14 minutes

Have a Question? Ask an Astronaut!

Want to know if you'll really get taller if you go to space? Or where we're at with warp speed? We know you definitely want to know what it smells like up there. Astronaut Chris Hadfield discusses all of this and more in this awesome video.

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Does the possibility of gardening make living in space seem a little less intimidating? One of my biggest reservations about possibly living outside of this planet in the future is… what the heck are we going to do out there? We can’t even breathe the air! So how would we all utilize our time?

Are you looking forward to living outside of this planet? Share this article with your friends to let them know we’re steps closer to making it happen!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.”  — Albert Einstein 

Want to explore more of space?

We’ve got your ticket (you just have to imagine all the rocket effects and what not)

Space on EWC

Oh! Before you blast off, have you subscribed yet? It’s the best way to stay up to date with all of the awesome things happening here on Earth!

Notes:

  1. Dunbar, Brian. “Growing Plants and Vegetables in a Space Garden.” NASA. NASA, 15 June 2010. Web. 01 June 2018. <https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/10-074.html>.
  2. “Thanks to Salad, We’re One Step Closer to Colonizing Space.” YouTube. Seeker, 22 Apr. 2017. Web. 01 June 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vh4__TY78A&feature=youtu.be>.
  3. Owen, James. “Plants Grow Fine Without Gravity.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 07 Dec. 2012. Web. 01 June 2018. <https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/121207-plants-grow-space-station-science/?beta=true>.
  4. Owen, James. “Plants Grow Fine Without Gravity.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 07 Dec. 2012. Web. 01 June 2018. <https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/121207-plants-grow-space-station-science/?beta=true>.

Samantha Burns

Executive Assistant, Staff Writer

Samantha is a listener, creator, collector of knick knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.