New insights released on May 15 show that plant seeds which were taken to Mars and spent six months there grew only slightly slower when planted back on Earth, raising the prospect of growing food on the red planet. According to reports, two kilograms of rocket seeds were on board the International Space Station with British European Space Agency astronaut, Time Peake. As a part of his Principia mission, the seeds were subjected to intense vibrations from the stresses and strains of space travel.
However, upon their return to earth, nearly 6,00,000 people, children and adults in the UK planted them. In the experiment, which was supported by the UK space agency, the seeds were then monitored on their growth and compared to seeds that remained on earth.
In the result, the agency found out that the seeds, though grew more slowly and were more sensitive to ageing, were still viable. The agency said that, by taking precautions sand sensible steps and by the protecting the seeds on their journey, it would be possible to grow plants in space or other planets.
Speaking about the experiment, astronaut Peete said that when humans travel to Mars, they would need to find ways to feed themselves, and this experiment helps people to understand some biology of seed origin and germination which will be vital for future space missions. The research was later published in journal Life. According to reports, the study was led by Gerhard Leubner and Jake Chandler from Royal Holloway and Alistair Griffiths from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Here's a different kind of #RocketScience! 🌱— UK Space Agency (@spacegovuk) May 15, 2020
In 2016, we ran an experiment with @The_RHS for @astro_timpeake to take rocket seeds for a six-month trip on the Space Station, and be grown by schoolchildren and in @RoyalHolloway labs back on Earth.
👉 https://t.co/KjxXrL86Gn pic.twitter.com/eX4ObEor7G
Image credits: Twitter/ spacegovuk