Content in this section supports the concept of growing crops in space and the symbiotic relationship between plants and space travelers. Plants in space are beneficial for a number of reasons. They provide nourishment for the body when eaten as food, and they improve the quality of indoor air. Plants take the carbon dioxide from air to produce oxygen that humans can breathe. Find information about how plants, people, microbes and machines work together in self-contained space vehicles.
NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber
What’s for dinner on the moon? Astronauts will need to grow food when they return to the moon and eventually travel to Mars. Join the challenge to design and build a lunar plant growth chamber.
Educator Guides for Lunar Plant Growth Chambers:
Life Science Themed Units and Camps
NASA's Summer of Innovation Project provides theme-based units: The Body, Food, Life Out There?, Plants, and Survival. Professional development training modules are available for educators on the website.
Hydroponic Systems Activity
Students work with one or more hydroponic systems and collect data for a four-week period to determine which system resulted in the best plant growth.
Liftoff to Learning: Plants in Space
Elementary students participated in a plant growth experiment with astronauts on the space shuttle. Order the DVD from the Central Operation of Resources for Educators. Segments from the video are listed below.
Our World: Plants in Space
Find out how plants use light to make their own food in a process called photosynthesis.
NASA Edge: Space Life Science Lab
Meet NASA scientists Dr. Carlos Calle and Dr. Ray Wheeler as they talk about work done inside the Space Life Sciences Laboratory. Dr. Calle talks about the challenges of protecting NASA assets from dust in space, the moon, Mars and other stellar locations. Dr. Wheeler talks about growing plants in space that could help astronauts protect themselves from radiation via their diet.
Space Seeds Return to Earth
Seed pods from a commercial gardening experiment aboard the International Space Station were returned to Earth.
In Search of Moon Trees
Scattered around our planet are hundreds of trees that were grown from seeds that had been to the moon and back again. Find out if one is in your neighborhood.
You're "stuck" on the moon or relocated to Mars. How are you going to survive for months and possibly years without resupply? This is the challenge you face in the Biogenerative Life Support System Sim.
BLiSS Sim is only available for the iPad