Happy International Women’s Day to all of the outstanding women that contribute to Astrobotany!

Sara Humphrey — Mar 8th 2021

This post is written by Sara Humphrey, a student researcher, astrobotanist, and contributor to astrobotany.com, speaking on International Women’s Day. The first time I ever heard of astrobotany was when Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul earned NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement medal. Her amazing research was my introduction to astrobotany, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I can’t help but… Read More

Why not use sunlight?

Sara Humphrey — Feb 20th 2021

Plants need light to live and grow, and it takes a lot of energy to grow plants using man-made light fixtures. So why don’t we use sunlight instead? Why don’t we use sunlight to grow plants on the International Space Station (ISS)? Why don’t we use sunlight to grow plants on Mars or the Moon?… Read More

Four Years of Astrobotany.com

Kai Rasmussen — Feb 20th 2021

February 19th 2021 marked the 4 year anniversary of astrobotany.com. Hi all, I am incredibly humbled that astrobotany.com has been up and running for four years. I am in awe, and extremely proud of how much knowledge the site has accumulated in its short time on the internet. Four years ago, this website was little… Read More

Clovers in Space: ExoLab-8 Mission

Gil Cauthorn — Feb 18th 2021

Clovers in Space: ExoLab-8 Mission ExoLab-8 Mission The next Cygnus launch aboard the Antares rocket is scheduled for February 20, 2021 at 12:36 p.m. ET, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad 0A on Wallops Island, Virginia. This resupply mission, known as Cygnus NG-15, will deliver approximately 3,279 kg of cargo to the International Space… Read More

Parabolic Flights

Sara Humphrey — Feb 8th 2021

Parabolic flights (often called “vomit comet” flights) provide an analog platform for microgravity research. Essentially, a  reduced-gravity aircraft flies upward, then it curves like a parabola and flies downward so fast that the people and equipment inside experience zero gravity for less than 30 seconds. This brief period of weightlessness allows researchers time to do… Read More

Microgreens in Space

Gil Cauthorn — Jan 21st 2021

Microgreens in Space Why are edible plants important to space missions? Future long-term space missions are critically dependent on sustainably maintaining both the physiological and psychological health of crew members. One important aspect is the ability to provide crews with optimal nutrition while reducing the need for Earth-based resupply. The cost and space requirements currently… Read More

astrobotany interviews

Sara Humphrey — Dec 23rd 2020

This page includes all interviews we’ve conducted at astrobotany.com, and all interviews we’ve found from other sources. If you know of any interviews not listed on this page, please tell us on our contact page. our interviews Dr. Oscar Monje: coming soon! Dr. Kent Kobayashi: Explosive Curiosity for Science (2021) Dr. Gioia Massa: Growing Generations… Read More

NASA Seeks Ideas for New Competition to Feed Astronauts on Long-Duration Space Missions

NASA Press Release — Dec 14th 2020

from the NASA Technology Transfer Program: NASA is seeking input for a possible space food challenge with a proposed opening in early 2021. The challenge objective is to identify and foster novel technologies, systems, and approaches for food production for long-duration space exploration missions. The proposed competition will challenge the public to help NASA create… Read More

Let’s Grow Beans in Space!

Sara Humphrey — Aug 31st 2020

Although they seem like normal, everyday plants, beans have a hidden superpower that could make them indispensable crops for spaceflight. What makes them special? Beans, peas, and the other members of the family Fabaceae are called legumes, and many legumes are able to do something that other plants can’t: they can make root nodules. Essentially,… Read More