Spicy chile pepper flowers bloom aboard the International Space Station.

For the first time, NASA astronauts are growing Española chile peppers aboard the International Space Station. This past week, photos were shown of the recent white blooms of the pepper plants, signaling the hopeful start of the first fruits grown in space! Since June of this year, “Española Impoved” chile peppers have been growing in …

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How could cotton grown in space change our world?

First time cotton experiment aboard the ISS aims to make discoveries to support sustainable agriculture on Earth. A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Gilroy Lab are set to launch cotton plants to be grown aboard the ISS for the first time in the upcoming SpaceX 22 re-supply mission. Their research will examine …

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

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 …

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Parabolic Flights

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 microgravity for less than 30 seconds. This brief period of weightlessness allows researchers time to do experiments, …

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Microgreens in Space

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 …

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