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Michigan State University sending seeds to space

Posted at 5:40 PM, Aug 31, 2022

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Science has done it again. Instead of planting seeds in the ground, Michigan State University scientists are sending them to outer space.

The Arabidopsis thaliana seeds inside Michigan State’s plant biology laboratories are ready for a first-class flight to infinity and beyond.

“So the seeds that are flown on Artemis 1 from our lab are more nutritious, and they will hopefully be able to give us new knowledge to be able to use in the future to engineer plants for astronauts for long term space exploration,” said graduate research assistant Joanne Thomson.

Thomson and distinguished professor of Plant Biology, Federica Brandizzi, are studying how plants respond to flight environments when traveling to space.

“Our goal here is to make sure that we can provide a sustainable environment to humans in other organisms that will live in space. Eventually, we want to have self-sustained environments that can provide nourishment to the astronauts,” Brandizzi said.

The seeds will spend six weeks in space inside plastic tubes. When the seeds come home, Brandizzi and Thomson will see how the plants that grew from the seeds perform.

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