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CELTIC-L  October 1995

CELTIC-L October 1995

Subject:

Spuds in Space read about it here!

From:

CONRAD BLADEY <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Sun, 29 Oct 1995 09:57:43 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (119 lines)

What could this mean for future spud dependence in space I cant tell...
At least the Irish in space will be well taken care of.
 
                                Astroculture
 
  Principal Investigator: Dr. Raymond J. Bula,
  Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics Madison, Wisconsin
 
   Purpose: To evaluate performance in microgravity of a unit for
   supporting growth of plants and to study how starch accumulation in
   plants is affected by the microgravity environment.
 
   Significance: As our stays in space become longer, it will be
   necessary to grow plants to minimize the cost of life support. Plants
   can help provide food, oxygen, and pure water and can also assist in
   removing carbon dioxide from human space habitats. However, since
   fluids behave differently in microgravity, plant watering systems that
   operate well on Earth do not function effectively in space. A useful
   plant growth system must be able to deliver nutrients to the plants
   without releasing solutions into crew quarters.
 
   Such a system must also be capable of controlling levels of moisture
   in the air or humidity. Excessive levels of humidity can damage
   experiments and equipment, while insufficient humidity can have a
   detrimental effect on plants. The moisture in the air also represents
   a valuable on-orbit commodity that could be recycled as condensed
   water for cooking, drinking, or as a source of water for plants.
 
   Additionally, electrical power is a valuable resource on orbiting
   spacecraft. This requires that plant growth systems must be able to
   provide light as efficiently as possible.
 
   Activating ASC Right: Pilot Ken Bowersox Activating the Astroculture
   Experiment on USML-1.
 
   The Astroculture experiment flying on this mission contains three
   subsystems that address these issues and provide superior
   environmental control for plant growth in an inexpensive and reliable
   spaceflight package.
 
   First, the experiment's water and nutrient delivery system uses porous
   tubes with different pressures to ensure a proper flow through the
   rooting matrix. This system has already proven itself to be effective
   during long-duration flights in the microgravity environment.
 
   Second, the efficient subsystem for controlling moisture in the growth
   chamber humidifies and dehumidifies the air without needing a
   gas/liquid separator, which is required by all other systems currently
   in use, to recover the condensed water.
 
   Third, the lighting subsystem uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to
   provide high levels of light within the limits of electrical power
   available on orbit and with greater safety than any other light
   sources currently used by space-based plant growing facilities.
 
   The experiment package is sealed, with cooling provided by an
   experiment heat exchanger and carbon dioxide (necessary for
   photosynthesis) supplied from a storage tank.
 
   This equipment will be used to grow potato plants as part of a
   cooperative experiment with the Secondary Payload Programs of NASA's
   Life and Biomedical Sciences and Applications Division to obtain data
   on the nature of starch accumulation in microgravity. Starch is an
   important energy storage compound in plants, and there are some
   indications that starch accumulation in plants is restricted in
   microgravity. To investigate this phenomenon, small potatoes will be
   grown in the Astroculture facility They will develop from potato leaf
   cuttings with auxiliary buds, which can be induced to develop small
   tubers filled with starch in 10 to 15 days.
 
   The experiment will evaluate rates of photosynthesis, movement of
   photosynthesis products from leaves to tubers, conversion of sugars to
   starch in storage organs, and enzyme activities for the formation and
   degradation of starch. Investigators also will study the number, size,
   shape, and distribution of starch grains and the structures that form
   starch (amyloplasts).
 
   This flight of the Astroculture hardware is the last of a series of
   tests to evaluate each of the critical subsystems needed for the
   construction of a reliable plant growth unit. Astroculture flew on the
   First United States Microgravity Laboratory and the Spacehab-1 and -2
   missions, during which lighting, humidity, pH, nutrient supply and
   composition, and carbon dioxide and atmospheric contaminant subsystems
   were validated. After the experiment is flight qualified on this
   mission, a functional plant growth unit will be available for sale or
   lease to commercial enterprises.
 
   Astroculture Hardware Left: Astroculture Hardware
 
   Tuber Right: This tuber was grown from a potato leaf during a 2-week
   period, approximately the same amount of time USML-2 will be in orbit.
 
   The technologies used in the Astroculture flight unit have already
   resulted in several commercial products for use on Earth. The lighting
   subsystem has been the basis of the development of a unique lighting
   system for photosynthesis research.
 
   The lighting technology is also being used in some novel medical
   applications, ranging from measuring blood sugar levels to use in
   photodynamic therapy for cancer patients. Other applications of the
   Astroculture technology include improved
   dehumidification/humidification units, water efficient irrigation
   systems, and energy efficient lighting systems for large scale
   commercial nurseries.
 
        ===========================================================
 
 
 
 
!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^!^
ReMeMbEr Remember the 5th of NovemberCENTER FOR  F A W K E S I A N  PURSUITS
BONFIRE SOCIETY JOIN TODAY!=NO FAUX FAWKES'S- VIDEO RIDEO!
Internet Carbado/ir-Perfect Spelling is the Devil's Work-If you Don't like the
way this message is spelled use you spell checker on It!
e.mail [log in to unmask] Classes in Celtic Studies/Irish Culture
 
O===o===o===o===o===o===o===([O]}>>>O

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