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Space food

MHOC students doing scientific research for NASA

Mary Help of Christians students Philip Sampson and Emmanuel Segui place newly planted radish seeds into a growth chamber.

Photographer: Courtesy

Mary Help of Christians students Philip Sampson and Emmanuel Segui place newly planted radish seeds into a growth chamber.

PARKLAND | Can you grow veggies in space? Students at Mary Help of Christians School are doing scientific research to find out.

Mary Help of Christians students Sophia Wetmore, Reese Mackenzie and Emi Bernal prepare the growth media for the seeds.

Photographer: Courtesy

Mary Help of Christians students Sophia Wetmore, Reese Mackenzie and Emi Bernal prepare the growth media for the seeds.

Seventh-graders at MHOC are taking part in a project by Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden. Called Growing Beyond Earth, the project is among several programs by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to help astronauts grow food.

The students, members of a class in hydroponic gardening, are growing three kinds of radishes under conditions similar to the Veggie Plant Grow System aboard the space station. The students monitor temperature, humidity, plant growth and plant health. Details of the watering schedule are also being maintained.

The data are shared weekly with NASA scientists, who plan to use findings from the Growing Beyond Earth project to improve the diversity and quality of edible plants grown by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, as well as future long-distance space exploration.

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