Astronomers Will Soon Be Able to Grow Their Food in the Outer Space

Max Coleman, a NASA scientist, has been harvesting baby radishes in his kitchen for the past years, and all of these in the name of science. According to Coleman, baby radishes were used during other missions in space, when astronomers sent baby radishes to the International Space Station. This attempt was to help scientists create their food in outer space.

From project to reality

This is why Coleman decided to team up with other 13 researchers and try to stimulate both physically and chemically regolith (lunar soil) here on Earth. The things that have been taken into consideration are the speed to which the water is absorbed in the soil, the size of the ground particles or the ideal combination of minerals to support the growth of baby radishes.

One year has passed by since the researchers started their study and everything would have went according to the plan, if it had not been for the ongoing pandemic. Fortunately, a video conference from home between the members of the team was the perfect moment for Coleman to get a brilliant idea: a home-made radish laboratory.

Coleman’s lunar simulator… in his kitchen

They have soon got back to work, without any theorization of Coleman’s idea. Armed with desert sand and radish seeds, which were bought online, the team started making small steps towards achieving their goal. This is why the hardest part of the research was to find the right chemical elements that could stimulate plants to grow cells. Another essential element was to turn on the plant’s axis once a month, exactly the way that the orbit of the Moon does.

The first stage of the experiment was to cut a towel into four separate sections, place them in a container, add water and plant three radish seeds. Only one of the seeds managed to sprout, since it was the only one that managed to get a taste of some oxygen. This is when the sand arrived and Coleman started testing on how much water is needed for his research.

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