New Plant Experiments Successfully Launch on SpaceX CRS-15

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket for commercial resupply 15 (CRS-15) to the International Space Station.  Several plants are onboard the used Dragon cargo ship.

  • dragoon lettuce
  • extra dwarf pak choy

These two varieties were decided upon by the Fairchild Garden Growing Beyond Earth challenge.  Effectively, they were chosen by students as part of this unique citizen science project.

Other plants:

  • ‘Red Russian’ kale
  • wasabi mustard
  • ‘Outredgeous’ red romaine lettuce
  • algae

Of interest for terrestrial botany: The new ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment (ECOSTRESS) instrument is also amongst the cargo.  Using thermal infrared technology, ECOSTRESS will measure temperature and water stress of plants on earth.  The device should provide valuable insight on climate change.

Let’s grow plants in space.

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