Plant harvest is underway aboard the International Space Station along with activation of numerous kids’ science experiments.
The crew is beginning to harvest plants today grown on the International Space Station that will be returned to Earth aboard the SpaceX Dragon. Also, a variety of student experiments submitted from schools across the United States were activated inside the orbital laboratory.
Dragon is due to return to Earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean March 19. The resupply ship will carry back gear and science samples for analysis by NASA personnel. Plants that were grown on petri plates for the APEX-04 study will also be returned aboard Dragon. Astronaut Peggy Whitson harvested those plants today helping researchers study the molecular changes that plants experience when grown in space.
The following is a text excerpt from NASA:
Spaceflight causes several changes to animals and plants, and those that take place on a molecular level can affect how the organism grows without altering its outward appearance. Epigenetic change in Arabidopsis thaliana in response to spaceflight – differential cytosine DNA methylation of plants (APEX-04) studies molecular changes in thale cress seedlings grown in microgravity. Results provide new insight into the molecular biology underlying how plants grow differently in space.
Future scientists had their experiments activated today inside the NanoRacks commercial space research facility aboard the station. Students from five U.S. schools will be exploring ways to reduce infections, improve muscle injury treatments, grow plants on Mars, filter bacteria and solve common slippery surface problems.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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