Astronauts grow cucumbers in space to help scientists understand root growth
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Jul 21, 2017
Which factor is more important to root growth: gravity or water? To find out, scientists recruited astronauts to grow cucumbers on the International Space Station.
In the soil, roots seek out higher concentrations of water. The tendency is called hydrotropism. Roots also tend to grow downward as a result of gravity, a pattern called gravitropism.
But researchers haven't been able to determine which of the two influencing factors is the strongest.
When astronauts grew cucumbers in space, under microgravity conditions, the root patterns proved hydrotropism was the most important factor.
Scientists published the results of their experiments this week in the journal New Phytologist.
"We will be able to utilize roots' ability to sense moisture gradients for controlling root growth orientation and efficiently growing plants in future space farms," lead author Hideyuki Takahashi said in a news release.
Paris (ESA) Jul 10, 2017
Rockets and spacecraft may get us to Mars, but food must nourish us on the journey. Now researchers are using the International Space Station to look at how much food will be needed on a spacecraft heading to the Moon, Mars or beyond. By tracking the energy used by astronauts, we can count the number of calories humans will need for long flights. Calculating total energy expenditure involv ... read more
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.