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Plant Growth in Space



In my last blog I wrote about how essential gravity is to plants growth on Earth, so I decided to find out how plants can grow in space where the force of gravity is significantly smaller and/or non existent.  Turns out that plants can and have been grown on the International Space Station.  How?  Well, plants have an inner ability to orient their growth away from their seeds; it is almost like they know that they need to grow away from the seeds in order to access water and nutrients for survival.  Also, because the Space Station orbits the Earth, plants were able to grow correctly due to the pull of gravity on the station.  Even though the force of gravity on the plants is fractionally smaller on the ISS than it is on Earth, the plants wer orbiting close enough to the earth that they could still obtain an instinct on how to grow based on their relatively close proximity to Earth's gravitational pull.  Finally, while gravity serves as a guide for where plants should grow to on Earth, in space, moisture and nutrients replace gravity as this guide; so, plants grow towards the moisture and nutrients in space just like they would grow towards gravity on Earth.  While growth in space is certainly not perfect, it is most certainly possible, due to the plants' previous abilities and adaptations.

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Hmmm... I'm confused as to why you might say "while gravity was not acting on the plants."  Why wouldn't gravity be acting on the plants when they are on the ISS?

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