Growing flowers in space is the challenge that Yves Tessier and her co-workers face Eclosion. This project was born on the heels of a competition that I organized CNES In 2019. The winning students, from Nantes and Toulouse, joined forces to fulfill their dream: to send a flower to space! And this dream will come true: on August 1, 2021, the Eklosion capsule Containing marigold seeds will take off in a supply cargo ship to the International Space Station to join Thomas Pesquet. The capsule, which is a transparent cylinder about forty centimeters high, will travel 400 kilometers and these marigold seeds will be the first flowers to grow in space!
Bring a little relaxation to the astronauts
The goal: to allow astronauts to maintain contact with the Earth while flying over it. NASA is already developing powers in space, but still aiming for the experiment.
“It’s nice to see the whole process of growing the plant, which will turn into a flower. We hope to bring some distraction and beauty to the International Space Station.” – Eve Tayseer
This student supervised the entire biological portion of the project. To avoid wasting the astronauts’ time, the capsule works Full autonomy. “Once plugged in, it will start the day and night cycle (turn off and turn on the led lights that illuminate the marigold) automatically. Thomas Pesquet will have to water the plant for the first time, then the capsule alone will guarantee two months of flower growth.The capsule will simply be plugged into a socket and will accompany the astronauts in their daily lives.
Fertile ground for the proliferation of space
NASA strictly prohibits the entry of anything into the International Space Station without knowing its exact composition. It is impossible to lay the soil! Eve Teyssier had to model a stilt in Coconut fiber To absorb seeds.
“What is very practical with coconut fiber is that it is pressed. So we can include the seeds in it and make sure that they won’t move during the take-off vibrations. The other advantage is that, once re-hydrated, the coconut fiber will swell and fill in any remaining void. So the marigold seed roots will be able to grow without difficulty.“
The plant will grow quietly under the eyes of Thomas Pesquet, protected in its capsule. To stimulate his sense of smell, the students had an idea: An appropriate place on the capsule would be arranged Vegetable aroma cans ! Anise, mint, pine nuts … The astronaut will be able to smell all the smells of the earth and read the little words of his relatives engraved on the boxes. Always this connection with the land is at the heart of the project.
If all goes as planned, the marigold seeds should hatch in mid-September.
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