For humanity to truly explore the cosmos, we need plants. We need to have a constant source of food, which means we need to grow plants in space. The intangible forces, yet so unimaginably important; light and gravity. Plants react to phenomenon such as these in very specific ways. These are called tropisms. As of right now I am studying these in experiments in phototropism and gravitropism. My goal with these is study why these would be important for space travel. I want to create the ideal environment for plants to grow in and thrive in, all with in the confines of space. I wish to create a structure that would be able to have plants grow inside it, as if was in all it’s normal conditions for growing.
Phototropism means the reaction to the external stimuli that is light. Roots of the plant respond negatively to light, whereas shoots respond positively to light. Gravitropism means the reaction to the external stimuli that is gravity. Roots of the plant respond positively to gravity, and shoots respond negatively to gravity. This means that roots and shoots will always grow in opposite directions due to these 2 factors.
Now that we have that bit of background knowledge, let’s move on to my projects. My Phototropism experiment is similar (though not the same) to Darwin’s experiment he did in 1880 on plants movement towards light. The way I am going to do this is as follows:
– First, sprout the beans to ~3in
– Second, do a control with light and no cap, in order to show the effect of phototropism
– Then do it with an opaque cap, and one with the opaque material around the part of the plant that bends
– Concurrently run three sets, so that the conditions stay constant
My other experiment is on Gravitropism. For this, I am going to be studying the effect of gravity on shoots of the plant (I’m using wheat plants). I am going to do this as follows:
– First grow beans to ~3in
– Then, put it in the aforementioned box
– Flip box horizontally
– Take photo ~10-20 mins (BUT IT MUST BE CONSTANT)
– Every 6 six hours, rotate box 90 degrees
– Collect data, and create a visual log
For humanity to take the next leap, we need the food source of plants. To do this, however, requires a lot of thought and research, but it is something we must undertake. This is why I want to do these experiments. After this I will creating my prototype! This will be the next step in a long journey