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January 8, 2001 - Chat Archive

Farming in Space Details


[ ChatModerator - 126 - 15:20:54 ]
WELCOME to the first FARMING IN SPACE chat! *TEACHERS* please give your school name, city, state, and any particular interest you and your students have in today's chat. To be added to our participant list, please email your name, school address, and phone number to issteam@cet.edu. *STUDENTS* please use only your first name or a teacher-approved nickname and no other identifying information. TODAY'S EXPERTS *GARY STUTTE* *BOB MORROW* and *TOM DRESCHEL* are researchers involved in studying plant growth in space. You can see their biographies by visiting the Featured Experts section at this web site: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/farming/farming.html . Click on *REFRESH/SUBMIT* often to see new messages.

[ ChatModerator - 128 - 08:31:21 ]
In the *Farming in Space* activity, students have the opportunity to perform research working with four of the same model plants (AstroPlants, Basic Fast Plants, Super Dwarf Wheat, and Apogee Wheat) that NASA is using to study the potential use of plants to provide food, oxygen, and filtered water, and to remove carbon dioxide from the air in space stations and other forms of space habitations. The Farming in Space activity may be downloaded from the International Space Station Challenge web site: http://www.cotf.edu/iss/activities/farminspace.asp . Students are encouraged to design original experiments to provide information on how plants can help humans survive in space.

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 130 - 08:51:44 ]
Hi: Tom Dreschel is on line.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 131 - 08:54:20 ]
Hi: Gary Stutte is online.

[ ChatModerator - 134 - 08:55:32 ]
Welcome, Gary, Bob, and Dave! Experts, could you please describe how your research relates to the Farming in Space activity? Thanks!

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 135 - 08:56:19 ]
RE: [Dave] I will be teaching a science/math methods course for WJU second semester and was interested in the possibilities for the class this project could offer.
Dave: Take a look at at the Farming in Space Activity. It incorporates biology, physics, chemistry, and math to some degree. Regards, Tom

[ Dave - 136 - 08:56:37 ]
I would add that I'm a consultant for the SMART-Center, an informal science center. My e-mail is dgoodwin@1st.net

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 137 - 08:58:21 ]
Hi, Bob Morrow is on line.

[ ChatModerator - 138 - 08:58:29 ]
Tom, have you already had a run of the Farming in Space activity with the LSEN teachers? If so, could you tell us a little about it?

[ Dave - 139 - 08:59:11 ]
Thanks, Tom. "Coordinated and Thematic" science is an area of interest for me.

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 140 - 08:59:21 ]
I currently am an education programs director for Fundamental Biology Outreach and Life Sciences at Kennedy Space Center and have been involved in environmental and advanced life support research. I have been involved in the development of hydroponic systems in support of the advanced life support systems development.

[ ChatModerator - 141 - 08:59:28 ]
Welcome, Bob. Could you please describe a little about your research relevant to the student Farming in Space activity.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 142 - 08:59:55 ]
The Farming in Space Activity is a classroom model of the International Space Station (ISS) PESTO experiment which is currently scheduled to be the 1st plant science experiment on the ISS. That experiment will look at the effect of space on growth, photosynthesis and transpiration of wheat plants. The Farming in Space Activity looks at these same processes in the classroom.

[ Elizabeth - 143 - 09:00:18 ]
Elizabeth from Toronto is here :)

[ ChatModerator - 144 - 09:00:18 ]
Welcome, Elizabeth. At what school in Toronto do you teach?

[ ChatModerator - 145 - 09:00:51 ]
Will the teacher please type his or her name in the First name box? Thanks!

[ unknown - 146 - 09:01:25 ]
Hello. We are third graders from DeMiguel Elementary School, in Flagstaff Arizona. We are joining the chat to learn more about this project. We are still working on gathering the materials.

[ ChatModerator - 147 - 09:02:38 ]
Gary, can you briefly describe the plants and procedure you are using in your investigation? Thanks!

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 148 - 09:02:39 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Welcome, Bob. Could you please describe a little about your research relevant to the student Farming in Space activity.
My work involves validation of the technology used in the Biomass Production System (BPS) payload for growing plants. I will used information from wheat and Brassica rapa (ASTROPLANTS)grown in the unit as well as environmental data measured during the flight to determine how well the equipment can maintain plants.

[ Mary - 149 - 09:03:51 ]
I am the teacher of the third graders in Flagstaff.

[ ChatModerator - 150 - 09:03:54 ]
Welcome, Mary! Please ask any questions you may have!

[ LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge - 151 - 09:04:03 ]
Hi All, I am jumping in...I am the ISS Challenge Project Manager. I hope a few of the teachers participating in the Farming in Space activities can join us today. We may have guests from all over the world based on emails received last week.

[ ChatModerator - 152 - 09:04:21 ]
In the *Farming in Space* activity, students have the opportunity to perform research working with four of the same model plants (AstroPlants, Basic Fast Plants, Super Dwarf Wheat, and Apogee Wheat) that NASA is using to study the potential use of plants to provide food, oxygen, and filtered water, and to remove carbon dioxide from the air in space stations and other forms of space habitations. The Farming in Space activity may be downloaded from the International Space Station Challenge web site: http://www.cotf.edu/iss/activities/farminspace.asp . Students are encouraged to design original experiments to provide information on how plants can help humans survive in space.

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 153 - 09:04:58 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Tom, have you already had a run of the Farming in Space activity with the LSEN teachers? If so, could you tell us a little about it?
Professor Paul Williams came to KSC last year and demonstrated the activity to teachers. I have run the activity in my office and believe it or not, you can farm wheat and chinese cabbage in your classroom!

[ Julie - 154 - 09:05:40 ]
This is a test to see if we are in the chatroom for the farming and space activity

[ ChatModerator - 155 - 09:05:42 ]
*STUDENTS* please use only your first name or a teacher-approved nickname and no other identifying information. You can email us later with your school name and city so that we can include it in the list of participating schools.

[ ChatModerator - 156 - 09:06:18 ]
Hi, Julie- You are in the chatroom! Welcome. Are you a student or teacher?

[ Dave - 157 - 09:08:30 ]
A question for anyone; do the students participating have an opportunity to share results with others around the world?

[ ChatModerator - 158 - 09:08:30 ]
Have any other of our participants tried the Farming in Space activity yet? We've tried it with the 4 crops in the activity, and are going to restart the experiment in front of our web cam tomorrow.

[ Julie - 159 - 09:09:33 ]
I'm a student

[ ChatModerator - 160 - 09:09:33 ]
Welcome, Julie! Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about the activity to our experts!

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 161 - 09:09:41 ]
In the PESTO experiment I will be growing wheat plants in the Biomass Production System (BPS) hareware. The wheat plants will be grown in an rooting media (Turface, which is very similar to kitty litter) which has had fertilizer added to it. There are three parts to the experiment. In the first, wheat plants of will be started at different times on earth to ISS. When in space, photosynthesis and transpiration measurements will be obtained at 3 different ages. The wheat plants will be harvested at 24 days after planting, and frozen for return to Earth where dry weight, height, leaf area measurements will be taken. In addition I will measure the effects of space of photosynthesis apparatus in the leaves. Following the initial harvest, new seeds will be started on ISS, and the experiment repeated. This will allow all operations to occur in the absence of gravity. A final planting will occur, which will bring plants back to earth for direct analysis of fresh tissue.

[ LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge - 162 - 09:11:26 ]
Bob and Gary, Based on your preliminary work with the BPS, can you tell us how the BPS chamber optomizes plant growth? Do you anticipate possible future applications of the BPS for Earth-based portable plant growth chambers?

[ Elizabeth - 163 - 09:12:04 ]
I have not tried the activity yet. I am not sure where to find the needed seeds in Toronto, butI will try some plant/gardening stores... as soon as I get the seeds, I will try the experiment at home.

[ ChatModerator - 164 - 09:12:19 ]
RE: [Dave] A question for anyone; do the students participating have an opportunity to share results with others around the world?
Great question, Dave! We are inviting students to share their results via these chats and in other ways through our ISS Challenge web site.

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 165 - 09:13:13 ]
The Astroplants that will be grown in the BPS will be launched at about 4 days of age. They will be harvested on orbit at 40 days of age. Astroplants will then be started from seed on orbit and returned to the ground for harvest. We will be looking at general growth and development for the Astroplants.

[ Mary - 166 - 09:13:13 ]
Will the text from this chat be available somewhere, so that we can refer back to it?

[ ChatModerator - 167 - 09:13:46 ]
RE: [Elizabeth] I have not tried the activity yet. I am not sure where to find the needed seeds in Toronto, butI will try some plant/gardening stores... as soon as I get the seeds, I will try the experiment at home.
The activity include the address to obtain the 2 varieties of wheat seeds for free , Elizabeth. The AstroPlant and Fast Plant seeds are purchased from Carolina Biological. However, students are invited to grow other plant species, including local favorites!

[ Kirsten - 168 - 09:15:24 ]
Hi, this is Kirsten. I am the graphic designer on the ISS Challenge project.

[ ChatModerator - 169 - 09:15:24 ]
RE: [Mary] Will the text from this chat be available somewhere, so that we can refer back to it?
We will keep this chat up for a couple of days and post a copy of it (an archive) after we have finished adding final comments within 2 weeks of the chat.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 170 - 09:15:52 ]
The BPS chamber allows the temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture, light level and carbon dioxide concentration for the plants to be precisely controlled. By using the BPS, I will be able to measure the optimal CO2 conditions for growth, then maintain the atmosphere at that level. Information we learn from, and technologies we develop for, the BPS are applicable to commercial controlled enviroment agriculture. I'll refer to Bob for specific details on this technology.

[ ChatModerator - 171 - 09:15:52 ]
*STUDENTS* please use only your first name or a teacher-approved nickname and no other identifying information.

[ Julie - 172 - 09:16:02 ]
How does BPU differ from HPU

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 173 - 09:16:24 ]
RE: [LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge] Bob and Gary, Based on your preliminary work with the BPS, can you tell us how the BPS chamber optomizes plant growth? Do you anticipate possible future applications of the BPS for Earth-based portable plant growth chambers?
The BPS provides control of light levels, photoperiod, temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and water delivery. Each of the 4 chambers has independent control of these variables. Setpoints for each variable are determined by the scientists involved with the experiment. Some of the technology used in the BPS may be applicable for use in Earth based plant growth chambers.Other parts of the BPS are similiar to those already used in Earth-based plant growth chambers.

[ Dave - 174 - 09:17:18 ]
This is no doubt a "rookie" question, but I'll risk it anyway; how does the plant's ability to absorb moisture and nutrients in microgravity compare with what happen's on earth?

[ ChatModerator - 175 - 09:17:44 ]
RE: [Dave] This is no doubt a "rookie" question, but I'll risk it anyway; how does the plant's ability to absorb moisture and nutrients in microgravity compare with what happen's on earth?
All related questions are welcome. Please don't feel shy. ;-)

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 176 - 09:17:59 ]
RE: [Julie] How does BPU differ from HPU
Do you mean BPS (Biomass Production System) vs. PRU (Plant Research Unit)?

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 177 - 09:17:59 ]
RE: [LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge] Bob and Gary, Based on your preliminary work with the BPS, can you tell us how the BPS chamber optomizes plant growth? Do you anticipate possible future applications of the BPS for Earth-based portable plant growth chambers?
The technologies used in the BPS certainly have applications to greenhouse production of vegetables (eg. CO2 enrichment of greenhouse vegetables) and improving irrigation systems (eg. subsurface irrigation).

[ ChatModerator - 178 - 09:18:20 ]
In the *Farming in Space* activity, students have the opportunity to perform research working with four of the same model plants (AstroPlants, Basic Fast Plants, Super Dwarf Wheat, and Apogee Wheat) that NASA is using to study the potential use of plants to provide food, oxygen, and filtered water, and to remove carbon dioxide from the air in space stations and other forms of space habitations. The Farming in Space activity may be downloaded from the International Space Station Challenge web site: http://www.cotf.edu/iss/activities/farminspace.asp . Students are encouraged to design original experiments to provide information on how plants can help humans survive in space.

[ Elizabeth - 179 - 09:18:28 ]
so can I find the AstroPlant and the FastPlant seeds in Toronto, Canada? I would like to stick with the seeds that the other participants are using.

[ Dave - 180 - 09:18:35 ]
Thanks!!

[ ChatModerator - 181 - 09:19:32 ]
RE: [Elizabeth] so can I find the AstroPlant and the FastPlant seeds in Toronto, Canada? I would like to stick with the seeds that the other participants are using.
Yes, you can obtain these seeds in Canada. I'm not sure if you'll experience a delay in receiving them across a border.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 182 - 09:19:50 ]
RE: [Dave] This is no doubt a "rookie" question, but I'll risk it anyway; how does the plant's ability to absorb moisture and nutrients in microgravity compare with what happen's on earth?
Not a rookie question at all! That is one of the fundamental questions being asked by the PESTO experiment.

[ ChatModerator - 184 - 09:21:15 ]
Could someone explain what the BPU is for Julie?

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 185 - 09:21:18 ]
RE: [Dave] Thanks!!
Dave: Not a rookie question! Scientists are still trying to determine this and in fact this may be one of the questions that the experiment we are discussing might partially address as photosynthesis is affected by the plant's ability to obtain water. Historically, we have been able to grow plants in space but still do not have a real good idea of how microgravity affects the physical environment that the plants require.

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 186 - 09:22:13 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] All related questions are welcome. Please don't feel shy. ;-)
One of the problems is we don't really know, though Gary may have some thoughts on this. From the hardware end, we are not sure how the water will distribute in microgravity and it is probable that our nutrient delivery system may provide somewhat different conditions in microgravity than we see at 1g due to capillary force becomming more predominant in microgravity.

[ Julie - 187 - 09:22:51 ]
What is the difference between BPS and HPU

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 188 - 09:23:22 ]
RE: [Dave] Thanks!!
In the abcence of gravity many things change. For our purposes, water no longer drains to the bottom of a pot (or BPS base), free water "floats", gases don't automatically mix, and water and gases don't readily separate. So one of the fundamental questions I hope to answer is whether basic processes such as nutrient uptake, photosynthesis (the change of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to dry material in the plant in the presence of light) and transpiration (the movement of water from the roots though the leaves) are the same in space as they are on earth.

[ ChatModerator - 189 - 09:24:31 ]
The HPU (Hydroponic Production Unit) is the soda bottle chamber used by students in the Farming in Space activity. Plants are nurished by nutrients in the bottom reservoir that are wicked up to the plants through the material wick.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 190 - 09:25:10 ]
RE: [BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper] One of the problems is we don't really know, though Gary may have some thoughts on this. From the hardware end, we are not sure how the water will distribute in microgravity and it is probable that our nutrient delivery system may provide somewhat different conditions in microgravity than we see at 1g due to capillary force becomming more predominant in microgravity.
Bob is correct. In the abscence of gravity we think a soil particle may hold more water than it does on Earth since gravity is no longer a force. This may require that management of the water and nutrients be somewhat different is space.

[ Dave - 191 - 09:26:05 ]
It would be interesting to determine what modifications the plants would make (if any) in order to maintain their rate of transpiration.

[ LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge - 192 - 09:26:13 ]
Bob and Gary, Thanks for your replies. Here's a follow-up question. RE: The BPS provides control of light levels, photoperiod, temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and water delivery. Each of the 4 chambers has independent control of these variables. Setpoints for each variable are determined by the scientists involved with the experiment. Will you provide a description of the "setpoints" for these conditions so that participating schools can compare their uncontrolled "setpoints" as environmental variances? Are you "setpoints" based on expected optimal conditions for the plants, or conditions that you knew the BPS could maintain?

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 193 - 09:26:41 ]
RE: [Julie] What is the difference between BPS and HPU
Julie: The BPS is a computer controlled system that can provide a specific environment to the plant. The HPU is used to simulate a BPS chamber on the ground which provides the water and nutrients to the plant. The plant light house or box that you will build to provide the light, will be simulating the light that the plants will have in the BPS. The temperature, humidity, and atmosphere for plants in your HPS will depend on the conditions in the classroom.

[ ChatModerator - 194 - 09:26:59 ]
Bob, could you describe the design features of the BPS (Biomass Production System)?

[ Julie - 195 - 09:27:56 ]
thanks

[ ChatModerator - 196 - 09:28:51 ]
What are some of the plants currently being researched in NASA labs as potential food sources in space?

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 197 - 09:29:05 ]
RE: [Julie] What is the difference between BPS and HPU
One difference is that the nutrient delivery system in the BPS currently uses water rather than a nutrient solution. The rooting matrix in the BPS has a slow release fertilizer mixed in to provides the nutrients. One advantage of this is that is makes it easier to recycle water between our humidity control system (condensate) back to the root modules on orbit (in other words, we don't need to mix up nutrient solution on orbit every time the reservoir gets low).

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 198 - 09:29:13 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] The HPU (Hydroponic Production Unit) is the soda bottle chamber used by students in the Farming in Space activity. Plants are nurished by nutrients in the bottom reservoir that are wicked up to the plants through the material wick.
The HPU is a pretty good model for the BPS. There are of course some fundamental differences. In BPS, water and nutrients are supplied under a slight negative pressure (because if it was under a positive pressure the excess water would float away!) instead of wicking to the roots. The area of the two units are similar, but the BPS is square and has a very shallow base (~3cm). Other differences are that the BPS base has additional sensors and covers to prevent media from floating away. I'll let Bob expand on the similaries and differences.

[ ChatModerator - 199 - 09:29:34 ]
Gary, could you list a few of the questions you hope to find answers to through the PESTO experiment?

[ Julie - 200 - 09:31:08 ]
We are doing the expirement in the Biology lab, Agricultural lab, and aerospace technology lab. Is there anything that we should moniter differently between the labs?

[ ChatModerator - 201 - 09:32:47 ]
RE: [Julie] We are doing the expirement in the Biology lab, Agricultural lab, and aerospace technology lab. Is there anything that we should moniter differently between the labs?
Each experiment could investigate a different type of plant, plant chamber, type of light, density of seed spacing, or even age at which the plants produce seeds. We encourage students to design unique experiments, keeping in mind how they might contribute to the overall questions of plant use for human survival in space.

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 202 - 09:33:35 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] What are some of the plants currently being researched in NASA labs as potential food sources in space?
Wheat, soybean, white potato, sweetpotato, lettuce, radish, spinach, and peanut are some of the crops being investigated.

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 203 - 09:33:43 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Bob, could you describe the design features of the BPS (Biomass Production System)?
The BPS unit is the size of two space shuttle middeck lockers and contains 4 plant growth chambers. Each chamber is 16.5 cm x 14.6 cm x 18.8 cm high. The unit contains temperature, humidity, co2, light, and water delivery systems. It also contains a camera for each growth chamber that takes pictures and saves them to our computer. The unit also has fluid reservoirs, a carbon dioxide tank, and lot of pumps, valves and sensors to allow the unit to operate automatically.

[ Dave - 204 - 09:34:04 ]
I think this may have been mentioned, but it seems that there are lots of variables to control in growing the plants, thus the need to share data among those participating.

[ ChatModerator - 205 - 09:35:26 ]
RE: [Dave] I think this may have been mentioned, but it seems that there are lots of variables to control in growing the plants, thus the need to share data among those participating.
Yes, there are many variables to be controlled, noted, discussed between classes in the experimental design stage if you'd like to later compare results. This is part of the challenge. Real life experiments don't really involve just one or two variables.

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 206 - 09:36:13 ]
RE: [Dave] I think this may have been mentioned, but it seems that there are lots of variables to control in growing the plants, thus the need to share data among those participating.
Agreed. Anything that can be monitored such as room temperature, humidity, etc. will help with any comparisons that might be made.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 207 - 09:36:37 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Gary, could you list a few of the questions you hope to find answers to through the PESTO experiment?
Sure: What is the potential for using plants to keep people alive on long duration space missions. To do this I am asking the following questions: 1. Is photosynthesis the same on Earth as it is in Space. The results from PESTO will be compared to results obtained from ground controls, as well as numberous experiments conduction around the world over the past 20 years, many of which were in the Biomass Production Chamber, a large testbed at Kennedy Space Center. 2. Is the water purification capacity of plants (tranpiration) the same in space as it is on earth. We will conduct these experiments under many different temperature and relative humidity settings. 3. If they are different, why? After harvest, the growth of the plant, the nutritional content, starch content, and other aspects of metabolism will be studied to see what is the same, and what is different, about the space flight environment.

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 208 - 09:37:48 ]
The orbitec website provides some information on the BPS unit, with a photo.

[ Julie - 209 - 09:38:09 ]
My partner Meghan is out of town but she wanted to me to ask a few questions. I'm going to lunch but i will be back. One question is is it possible to change the lengh of the expiriement and 2, is there anyway to improve the project such as ways to measure humidity?

[ ChatModerator - 210 - 09:38:49 ]
RE: [GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator] Sure: What is the potential for using plants to keep people alive on long duration space missions. To do this I am asking the following questions: 1. Is photosynthesis the same on Earth as it is in Space. The results from PESTO will be compared to results obtained from ground controls, as well as numberous experiments conduction around the world over the past 20 years, many of which were in the Biomass Production Chamber, a large testbed at Kennedy Space Center. 2. Is the water purification capacity of plants (tranpiration) the same in space as it is on earth. We will conduct these experiments under many different temperature and relative humidity settings. 3. If they are different, why? After harvest, the growth of the plant, the nutritional content, starch content, and other aspects of metabolism will be studied to see what is the same, and what is different, about the space flight environment.
Thank you, Gary! This should give students an idea of the types of questions NASA is looking at, and how they are breaking them down into smaller pieces to test with experiments. Students, we encourage new investigation ideas!!! ;-)

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 211 - 09:39:52 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Yes, there are many variables to be controlled, noted, discussed between classes in the experimental design stage if you'd like to later compare results. This is part of the challenge. Real life experiments don't really involve just one or two variables.
I concur. It is extremely difficult to control for just one variable in a closed environment, which makes recording the conditions of the experiment critical. Some key variables include light intensity, duration lights are on, temperature and relative humidity.

[ ChatModerator - 212 - 09:40:34 ]
RE: [Julie] My partner Meghan is out of town but she wanted to me to ask a few questions. I'm going to lunch but i will be back. One question is is it possible to change the lengh of the expiriement and 2, is there anyway to improve the project such as ways to measure humidity?
Julie and Mehgan- You, the investigator, are in control of the length of the experiment. There are sensors available to measure humidity. I know that Vernier makes them, and I am sure other companies do as well. Good questions. Thank you!

[ LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge - 213 - 09:41:15 ]
Bob, Can you post the ORBITEC Web address for those who would like to refer to additional information about the BPS?

[ ChatModerator - 214 - 09:42:16 ]
Tom, Gary, and Bob- Can you make any suggestions for students of what they might be able to investigate using the box light chamber and the soda bottle HPUs?

[ Dave - 215 - 09:42:34 ]
Is the solubility of a solute changed by microgravity??

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 216 - 09:44:00 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Julie and Mehgan- You, the investigator, are in control of the length of the experiment. There are sensors available to measure humidity. I know that Vernier makes them, and I am sure other companies do as well. Good questions. Thank you!
Even humidity sensors sold for the home (these can be found at department stores and Radio Shack stores) can provide some monitoring capability (humidity and temperature)at a much cheaper price than research grade instruments.

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 217 - 09:45:02 ]
RE: [LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge] Bob, Can you post the ORBITEC Web address for those who would like to refer to additional information about the BPS?
The Orbitec website is www.orbitec.com

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 218 - 09:45:57 ]
They may want to compare different growing media, different levels of nutrients in the solutions, other plants such as radish or lettuce, the effects of different water sources (tap, bottled, ground, lake/river). They may want to provide different environments (temperature, humidity) and compare closed versus open plant containers. These are just a few suggestions.

[ ChatModerator - 219 - 09:46:05 ]
In the *Farming in Space* activity, students have the opportunity to perform research working with four of the same model plants (AstroPlants, Basic Fast Plants, Super Dwarf Wheat, and Apogee Wheat) that NASA is using to study the potential use of plants to provide food, oxygen, and filtered water, and to remove carbon dioxide from the air in space stations and other forms of space habitations. The Farming in Space activity may be downloaded from the International Space Station Challenge web site: http://www.cotf.edu/iss/activities/farminspace.asp . Students are encouraged to design original experiments to provide information on how plants can help humans survive in space.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 220 - 09:46:11 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Tom, Gary, and Bob- Can you make any suggestions for students of what they might be able to investigate using the box light chamber and the soda bottle HPUs?
1. Compare growth of wheat under different media, for example, potting mix, vermiculite, arcillite, and sand. 2, Compare different concentrations of fertilizer (I use slow release Osmocote) or different concentration. 3. Measure effects of different temperatures, light and photoperiod on growth. 4. These are just a few suggestions. There are numberous possibilities including number of seeds, orientation of seeds, different wicking materials, different light sources, etc. that are both interesting and important to know.

[ ChatModerator - 221 - 09:47:47 ]
I understand that the PESTO experiment is scheduled to be put onboard ISS in January 2002. Are other follow-up plant experiments being planned?

[ LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge - 222 - 09:48:38 ]
Bob or Gary, How tightly sealed is the BPS? Are you concerned about leakage, fluctuations, or absorption from surrounding ISS experiments?

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 223 - 09:49:00 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Tom, Gary, and Bob- Can you make any suggestions for students of what they might be able to investigate using the box light chamber and the soda bottle HPUs?
You could also look at changing water content in the rooting media (such as by raising the water level to get a very wet root environment).

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 224 - 09:50:08 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] I understand that the PESTO experiment is scheduled to be put onboard ISS in January 2002. Are other follow-up plant experiments being planned?
Experiments are being designed and submitted to follow up on knowledge gained during this initial test. I am currently working on an experiment to look at growth of Radish (a potential salad crop for space) in microgravity. Other scientists are actively developing experiments to study nutrient delivery system, fundamental growth processes, and seed development onboard ISS.

[ ChatModerator - 225 - 09:50:23 ]
It sounds like there are many lifetimes of interesting plant experiments to investigate relating to growing plants in space!

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 226 - 09:51:15 ]
RE: [LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge] Bob or Gary, How tightly sealed is the BPS? Are you concerned about leakage, fluctuations, or absorption from surrounding ISS experiments?
The chambers have a low leak rate (< than half their volume per day). We can actually tell if the temperature around the chambers has changed because it causes a pressure change inside the chambers.

[ ChatModerator - 227 - 09:51:48 ]
When might some lab test or actual ISS data possibly be available to share with students? About how long after an experiment does it take to process the data?

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 228 - 09:52:24 ]
RE: [LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge] Bob or Gary, How tightly sealed is the BPS? Are you concerned about leakage, fluctuations, or absorption from surrounding ISS experiments?
Each BPS Chamber has a tight seal, but there is some entry of cabin atmosphere into the plant growth chambers. This is of course a concern, and one of the procedures we have is to take periodic samplings of the atmospere of analysis. Of perhaps as great or greater concern, is the effect of nearby experiments on the surrounding temperature of the air.

[ Dave - 229 - 09:52:30 ]
This has been very informative and interesting. I appreciate the chance to participate!

[ ChatModerator - 230 - 09:52:39 ]
Thank you for your participation, today, Dave!

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 231 - 09:53:56 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] When might some lab test or actual ISS data possibly be available to share with students? About how long after an experiment does it take to process the data?
ISS data (for BPS) of course will not be available until early 2002. However, ISS environmental data (for the current station)is probably available, though I don't know off hand were to get it.

[ ChatModerator - 232 - 09:54:27 ]
We just have a few more minutes left in today's chat. I will leave the chat open for about 2 days in the event that any of the experts might want to add any details, or in case someone unable to participate at the scheduled time has a question or two they would like to add. I will check the site several times a day, and forward relevant questions to the appropriate experts.

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 233 - 09:54:59 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] When might some lab test or actual ISS data possibly be available to share with students? About how long after an experiment does it take to process the data?
Of course the actual ISS data will not become available until after the launch in January 2002. The time it takes to analyze the data depends upon what the data is. We hope to obtain photosynthesis and transpiration data in near real time during the ISS experiment.

[ ChatModerator - 234 - 09:58:33 ]
Our next chat is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30th, to talk about some of the early data analysis. We invite schools participating in the Farming in Space activity to email issteam@cet.edu their contact name, school name, and address. We will call for data and provide a lab cam as we start up the experiment on our website tomorrow morning.

[ LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge - 235 - 09:58:40 ]
It's been great to have such knowledgeable experts who are also the first-hand scientists involved in this chat. We really appreciate your time. This is really an exciting project to link to. Plants and humans may be entering a new life support partnership in space!

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 236 - 09:59:24 ]
RE: [Dave] Is the solubility of a solute changed by microgravity??
The solubility per se should not change. What does occur is that diffusion becomes the primary driver for moving solutes into solution unless the solution is activitely mixed. In other words, there is not convection in a true microgravity condition.

[ ChatModerator - 237 - 09:59:30 ]
Gary, Bob, and Tom - Thank you so much for sharing your time and experitise with us. We hope to see you for future chats!!! Meri Cummings/NASA Classroom of the Future/Chat Moderator.

[ BobMorrow/ORBITEC/PayloadDeveloper - 238 - 10:00:04 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Gary, Bob, and Tom - Thank you so much for sharing your time and experitise with us. We hope to see you for future chats!!! Meri Cummings/NASA Classroom of the Future/Chat Moderator.
Thank you.

[ TomDreschel/KSCDynamac - 239 - 10:00:27 ]
RE: [ChatModerator] Gary, Bob, and Tom - Thank you so much for sharing your time and experitise with us. We hope to see you for future chats!!! Meri Cummings/NASA Classroom of the Future/Chat Moderator.
Meri, Laurie: You're welcome. I look forward to future chats!

[ GaryStutte/PESTOPrincipalInvestigator - 241 - 10:01:27 ]
RE: [LaurieRuberg/COTF/ISSChallenge] It's been great to have such knowledgeable experts who are also the first-hand scientists involved in this chat. We really appreciate your time. This is really an exciting project to link to. Plants and humans may be entering a new life support partnership in space!
Thank You for the opportunity to share what we we think is very exciting and rewarding work.

[ ChatModerator - 242 - 10:02:18 ]
In the *Farming in Space* activity, students have the opportunity to perform research working with four of the same model plants (AstroPlants, Basic Fast Plants, Super Dwarf Wheat, and Apogee Wheat) that NASA is using to study the potential use of plants to provide food, oxygen, and filtered water, and to remove carbon dioxide from the air in space stations and other forms of space habitations. The Farming in Space activity may be downloaded from the International Space Station Challenge web site: http://www.cotf.edu/iss/activities/farminspace.asp . Students are encouraged to design original experiments to provide information on how plants can help humans survive in space.

[ Victor - 243 - 10:56:44 ]
Victor Kuzevanov, Director of the Irkutsk Botanic Garden of Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia is on line.

[ Julie - 244 - 10:56:44 ]
Thankyou

[ ChatModerator - 245 - 10:58:29 ]
Welcome to the chat, Victor. Our experts have left for the day. However, feel free to scroll back approximately 100-200 messages to read the questions and answers and submit any questions you may have that I may be able to forward to the experts. Meri ;-)

[ ChatModerator - 247 - 11:55:21 ]
To see the entire chat, set the *Show at least* box to 120 messages.

[ ChatModerator - 248 - 13:36:21 ]
Please join us for our NEXT CHAT on TUES, JAN 30th, NOON Eastern Time!

[ ChatModerator - 249 - 13:02:27 ]
If you are participating in the Farming in Space activity, please let us know by sending the following info to the issteam@cet.edu: your school name, city, state, and country; the grade level of the participating students, and your planting date (or the day you plan on starting the activity). Thanks! Dr. Meri Cummings/NASA Classroom of the Future

 
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