Giant spacevegetables grown from seeds sent into space have been grown in China.
In 2006, 2,000 seeds were blasted into space in a Shijan 8satellite (see Chinese'Seed Satellite'). After germinating, the best seeds were then selected forfurther breeding.
The harvest includes extra-largepumpkins, two-foot long cucumbers, fourteen pound aubergines and chiliplants that resemble small trees. Looks like you might want to order thesmall-sized portion of take-out the next time you are in orbit (see InternationalSpace Station To Get Japanese Take-Out).
The plants are claimed to offer harvests that are higherthan normal; important news for China, a country with limited arable land and1.3 billion people.
Science fiction writers have imagined how plants might becultivated in space. In his 1989 novel Tides of Light, science fictionauthor Gregory Benford referred to lifezones, special growth pods that could beattached to a space ship:
The bulbous lifezones — huge bubbles extruded from the sleeklines of the Argo, like immense, bruised bodies of parasites. Inside, theiropalescent walls ran with dewdrops, shimmering moist jewels hanging a barefinger's width away from hard vacuum.
(Read more about lifezones)
(This Science Fiction in the News story used withpermission of Technovelgy.com)
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