As a teacher I'm always looking for interesting things to do in the classroom. I somehow found out about the Tomatosphere project and now in my class I have two sets of tomato plants growing. One set being from normal, ordinary tomato seeds and the other from seeds that were on board an International Space Station. Yes, space seeds! Here they are below, floating with Astronaut Robert Thirsk. Pretty cool, eh?
This is a blind experiment so I don't know (yet) which seeds are which, but as you can see, one set of seeds grew much better than the other.
The main reason for this experiment is to understand issues related to long-term space travel. Traveling to and from Mars could take up to three years so astronauts need to learn how they can grow food for their journey. How does the carbon dioxide that plants inevitably consume from the astronauts' breathing affect their growth?
The plants are big enough now that they are beginning to smell like tomato plants and the kids are obsessed with putting their noses right in there. Kinda funny.
So, do you think the space seeds yielded the faster or slower growing plants?