Can Plants be Adapted to Thrive in Space?

plants in space
A view into NASA's Kennedy Space Center’s Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) during experiment verification testing for the Plant Habitat-03 investigation. The image shows the Arabidopsis plants growing in the APH just before the four seed bags are installed. The plants are just beginning to develop flower stalks. Image courtesy of Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul.

Humans in space have to eat. In the early days of space exploration, they got to eat paste and drink Tang (or so the legends tell us). That’s hardly a great long-term diet. Plants should be in there, too. And, astronauts aboard the ISS have been growing gardens in space for years.

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