29 January, 18:19

Future interplanetary spacecraft to be equipped with 'plantations' - Russian scientist

Future interplanetary spacecraft to be equipped with 'plantations' - Russian scientist

In 2015 astronauts will grow rice, tomatoes and sweet pepper on board of the international space station in the framework of the experiment to create a biological life-support system of extra-long space expedition crews, chief research associate of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Margarita Levinskikh, said.

"We plan experiments with several crops - rice, tomatoes and sweet peppers. These crops have never been grown in space before," Levinskikh said on Wednesday when speaking at the academic readings on astronautics in the Moscow State Technical Institute named after Bauman.

The experiments will be conducted in the framework of developing extra-long flights and plants, whose genom is well studied on the Earth, are preferred, Levinskikh said."We are working with a greenhouse open in terms gas exchange, thus we have in the greenhouse everything we have in the station atmosphere," she said.

During the existence of the orbital stations - Mir and international space station - twenty three experiments to grow plants in micro-gravitation have been carried out - six of them at the Mir station and 17 at the international space station, the chief research associate said.The plants grown were fine and did not manifest any regression in development, Levinskikh said.

"When growing pea amid the space flight, five populations have been grown. This shows that no regression and productivity decrease occurred," she said.The experiments to grow super-dwarf wheat have been carried out at the orbit - the wheat seeds have not been obtained at the Mir station, while wheat has grown well at the international space station, Levinskikh said.

"The plants have been very developed, absolutely normal and did not differ a lot from the plants grown on Earth," she said.

Voice of Russia, Interfax

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