A keen group of budding space biologists at TGAR, ranging from Year 9 to Year 13, were carefully monitoring the growth of 200 seedlings over the course of May. This is a project that British astronaut Tim Peake has launched, where he has sent packs of seeds to a number of schools across the country. TGAR received one red packet and one blue packet, each containing 100 seeds of the same species. Only one of these packets has spent 6 months on the International Space Station orbiting the earth, whilst the other remained grounded. This is a blind trial where no schools have been told which of the seeds have actually been in space. The object of this project is to investigate the effect of microgravity on plant growth which could allow cultivation of crops in space in the future so astronauts can eat fresh food rather than dried.
It was then revealed that the blue packet of seeds had been into space. TGAR science team predicted the red one, but on the whole there was no significant difference in the growth of seedlings thus concluding that a stretch of time spent in microgravity has no effect on seed germination on this species. One step closer to growing food in space? Watch this space