This experiment aims to complete the entire life cycle of the plant from seedling to edible grain.
To explore our solar system and eventually colonize places like Mars, a human being must not only move machinery and a lot of technology, but also food, food that will end up being insufficient, so it will be absolutely mandatory to be able to grow it in the colonies or space stations themselves.
And now in the tiangong space station From China, astronauts aboard the spacecraft have succeeded in growing rice seedlings in space, overcoming one of the biggest obstacles in growing food for long-term space travel.
The information has been provided by China Daily, where they point out that the seeds have been grown on board the Wentian space laboratory that was put into orbit and attached to the station in early summer. The crews point out that “the seedlings are growing very well”.
“If we want to land and explore Mars, bringing food from Earth is not enough for a long journey and mission of astronauts in space”, he comments Zheng Huqionga molecular plant science researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to the aforementioned medium.
He adds that “we need to find a sustainable food source for long term space explorations”.
It should be noted that rice is a grain rich in energy and dense in nutrients, and being able to grow it in space is a qualitative leap in the nutrition of astronauts.
Unlike previous breeding breakthroughs, this experiment aims to complete the entire plant life cycle from seedling, then seedling, then to mature grain, and finally to edible.
“We want to investigate how microgravity can affect plant flowering time at a molecular level, and whether it is possible to use the microgravity environment to control the process.Zheng says.