As part of the Plant Habitat-02 experiment, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins has harvested the first radishes grown aboard the International Space Station.
The following radish is shown accelerating the 27-day radish growth process on the space station for study in 10 seconds.
Rubins meticulously collected and foil wrapped each of the 20 radish plants, placing them in cold storage for the journey back to Earth in 2021. While growing inside the habitat, the radishes required little maintenance by the crew. .
But why radishes? Because they are nutritious, fast growing, and genetically similar to Arabidopsis, a plant that is frequently studied in microgravity.
As Nicole Dufour , manager of NASA’s APH program at Kennedy Space Center explains:
Radishes are a different type of crop compared to the leafy greens that astronauts previously grew on the space station, or the dwarf wheat that was the first crop grown at the APH. Growing a variety of crops helps us determine which plants thrive in microgravity and offers the best variety and nutritional balance for astronauts on long-duration missions.
Sophisticated control systems supply water, while control chambers and more than 180 in-chamber sensors allow researchers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to monitor plant growth, as well as regulate humidity, temperature and levels. carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration.