artifical soil planters food in space 189570 web 1

Picture credit: Silje Wolff, NTNU Social Research (CIRIS).

The theme of this research is to grow a plant without the need of soil. All the nutrients for plants to grow can supply only by water instead of soil. We know that in space soil cannot be supplied, it relies on earth.

Also Read:How Spacecraft know where and which planet it is made to go? Why there is a specific date and time for launching a Space craft

How do the plants grow by water only?

The high technology planters are made to grow the plants without soil. These planters are made by NTNU’s technical workshop and tested by CIRIS. Planters regulate water, nutrients, gas, and air which is neccesary for growth in plants.Team of Researchres   has been investigating how plants use nitrogen in particular and how the levels of nutrients available affect the amount of water that the plants consume. They found that plants can smell’ the amount of nutrients available to them,. When the nitrogen concentration is very low, the plant will absorb more water and thus more nitrogen until it reaches an optimal level. The plant has a mechanism that turns on when the nitrogen level is adequate. Then it adjusts both nitrogen and water absorption down.

This is the way to get plant nutrients but other challenge is plants needs gravity for mechanisms to grow. Growing plants in space is another challenge for the researchers. The solution for this is to place plants into a Centrifuge. It is a machine using centrifugal force for separating substances of different densities, for removing moisture, or for simulating gravitational effects.This stimulates gravity which the plants sprout and grow.

This technique will helpful not only in space but also at the earth where the soil has poor nutrient capacity and for the places where much amount of soil is not available. This will make plants grow directly from water.