But the words “Plants For Space” suggest there’s nothing modest about the research taking place here. The small box is actually an $80,000 microgravity machine, which could play a vital role in a mission to send people to Mars.
The University of Adelaide is using it to test crops it’s designing for space, to see how they perform when there’s less gravity. “Plants obviously didn’t evolve to grow in space; it’s a somewhat foreign environment for them,” said plant scientist Matthew Gilliham, who is in charge of the research at Waite Institute.
) “For instance, water becomes sticky and creepy in space.
ABC Landline: Kerry Staight The microgravity machine is a key part of research into designing food for outer space.(
“So one thing that we’re doing here with the microgravity experiments is trying to program the plant to cope with those environments.” “There’s no gravity draining the water from the soil and, in fact, it clings to surfaces and it can envelop plants completely.
But the race to send people to Mars is speeding up, with the US and China both landing rovers on the red planet in recent times. An essential part of the space race Designing food for space was more the stuff of science fiction movies not so long ago.
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