Blog: A Labor of Love and Astrobotany is Back in Full Swing

This is Kai Rasmussen’s blog.  He is the webmaster for, recent UW biology graduate, and graphic designer.  These are updates about the process, if you are interested.

Happy Labor Day Everyone!

First of all, I hope everyone has a great labor day.  I’m thankful we can take a day to recognize the efforts and hard work of people all across the U.S. and around the world.  In the context of astrobotany, I’m especially thankful for the millions upon millions of hours of dedicated work that scientists, engineers, and pilots have put in to allow us our modern spaceflight and space research programs.  Happy Labor Day!

Safety Comes First on the ISS

A few days ago, astronauts aboard the International Space Station found a small leak and patched it up, after ground control noticed a decrease in cabin pressure.  All of the astronauts on board are safe and the minor problem has been addressed.

The Astrobotany Team is back to work!

The team at astrobotany is getting back into the swing of things this fall.  I’m in the process of re-organizing the website and figuring out how to improve our outreach and get even more resources out there for the public.  Our main developer, Isaac Evavold, is working on a site re-design for the news section, and I’m looking forward to covering new developments later this year.  Hopefully this will include the ISS Cotton Sustainability Challenge.

I’ve asked my fellow astrobotany researcher Noah Kinscherf to join me in creating designs for the shop.  Noah has been a researcher in the NASA funded Gilroy Laboratory for close to four years now and their work involves the heat shock proteins in spaceflight plant biology.  Noah is also a very talented graphic designer.  I really think that Noah’s design work, combined with their background in astrobotany makes them a perfect addition to the design team.  Noah’s first design is “Regeneration”, which depicts an astrobotanist wrapped in vines with distinct zucchini (which has been grown in space!) flowers.

“Regeneration” by Noah Kinscherf

Latest developments in astrobotany

Dr. Simon Gilroy and Dr. Sarah Swanson, of the Gilroy astrobotany lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be at the Kennedy Space Center for a year, working on microgravity experiments.

NASA, a nanotech company, and the University of Arizona walk into a bar…

Except it’s not a bar, it’s astrobotany research.  NASA is funding nanotechnology company UbiQD, Inc. to create special lights to help plants grow better in University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.  Since light is so critical to plant growth, the detail that a nanotechnology company can bring to a light spectrum could yield major benefits for future spaceflight plant habitats.

Thanks for reading ASTROBOTANY.COM 

Thanks for keeping up to date with astrobotany and our projects.  Know that you are part of a growing field and growing community that is passionate about the future of spaceflight and plant research.  Also, join us on our subreddit: /r/astrobotany to chat with other astrobotany enthusiasts and get the chance to win free stickers.  There’s so much more to come, so enjoy!  And let’s grow plants in space.

– Kai

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