“Growing the Zinnia plants will help advance our knowledge of how plants flower in the
[plant growth system named] Veggie, and will enable fruiting plants like tomatoes to be grown and eaten in space using Veggie as the in-orbit garden,” said Trent Smith, Veggie program manager at Kennedy.
ISS045e176195 (12/05/2015) — Sparkling city lights are framed by an aurora along the Earths horizon and part of the International Space Station on Dec. 05. 2015 as the station flies around the world at 17500 miles an hour.
Tomorrow the first official British astronaut Tim Peake will blast into space for 6 months.
He’ll be doing lots of experiments and tests that aren’t possible on Earth because of the unique conditions on the ISS 400km above Earth. He’ll even be running the London Marathon from space.
But living in microgravity for so long will take a toll on his body; astronauts experience bone and muscle loss, diminished immune systems and increased inflammation, complaints that also are common in the elderly.
To help find out why this happens an experiment at the University of Surrey with the European Space Agency is mimicking the effects of microgravity. Young healthy men will spend two weeks living in the lab ‘normally’ before spending 60 days constantly in beds that are slightly tilted to simulate the microgravity on board the ISS.
By investigating how these conditions disrupt sleep and body clocks, the study will help figure out the genetic processes that contribute to the health problems experienced by both the elderly and astronauts in space.