Gardening

NASA’S BIG IDEA CHALLENGE WINNER DESIGNS BEST PLANETARY GREENHOUSE

Dartmouth was announced the winning team of the fourth annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge April 24 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Massachusetts Institute of Technology University was awarded second place. NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge engages universities in engineering design to develop space exploration concepts for the Moon to Mars. Earlier this year, […]

BIG IDEA CHALLENGE 2019 FINALISTS TO DEVELOP PLANETARY GREENHOUSE CONCEPTS

No drive-through? No problem. University students are designing greenhouses so astronauts can grow their own food on Mars. NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) selected five university teams to participate in the 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. The challenge seeks to provide innovative ideas for the design, installation and sustainable […]

PLANT HORMONE MAKES SPACE FARMING A POSSIBILITY

With scarce nutrients and weak gravity, growing potatoes on the Moon or on other planets seems unimaginable. But the plant hormone strigolactone could make it possible, plant biologists from the University of Zurich have shown. The hormone supports the symbiosis between fungi and plant roots, thus encouraging plants’ growth – even under the challenging conditions […]

FLOWERING ZINNIAS SET STAGE FOR DEEP SPACE FOOD CROP RESEARCH

Zinnia plants from the Veggie ground control experiment at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida were harvested Feb. 11 in the same way that crew member Scott Kelly will harvest the zinnias growing in the Veggie system aboard the International Space Station on Feb. 14—Valentine’s Day. Flowering plants will help scientists learn more about growing […]

ZINNIAS FROM SPACE!

One of the most triumphant moments in the book and recent movie The Martian comes when lead character, Mark Watney, successfully grows a potato crop on Mars. It’s more than food for survival; he’s also nourishing his spirit. In space, there is no scent of baking bread, no wind on your face, no sound of […]

HOW MOLD ON SPACE STATION FLOWERS IS HELPING GET US TO MARS

When Scott Kelly tweeted a picture of moldy leaves on the current crop of zinnia flowers aboard the International Space Station, it could have looked like the science was doomed. In fact, science was blooming stronger than ever. What may seem like a failure in systems is actually an exceptional opportunity for scientists back on […]

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