Emma Doughty

Swimming in Zero Gravity: How Fish are Adapting on the Chinese Space Station - theunconventionalgardener.com - China - Japan
theunconventionalgardener.com
28.05.2024

Swimming in Zero Gravity: How Fish are Adapting on the Chinese Space Station

Header: ‘Rocket fish’ composite image by Emma Doughty. Includes a zebrafish image by Pogrebnoj-Alexandroff, CC 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Astrobotany Image: Jim Voss With Onions - theunconventionalgardener.com - Russia
theunconventionalgardener.com
13.07.2024

Astrobotany Image: Jim Voss With Onions

I find this photograph intriguing. It shows NASA astronaut James (Jim) Voss in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station, holding a plastic bag with two large onions. Both onions have long, green stalks which poke out of the bag. It was taken in 2001, during Expedition 2, which took place from 10 Mar 2001 – 20 Aug 2001 with three crew members: Voss, NASA astronaut Susan Helms and Russian cosmonaut Yury Usachev.

Plant Telomeres in Space with Borja Barbero Barcenilla (GotG59) - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
28.06.2024

Plant Telomeres in Space with Borja Barbero Barcenilla (GotG59)

Hello, Gardeners of the Galaxy! It’s time for another exciting episode, and our Mission Specialist this time is the wonderful Borja Barbero Barcenilla, who is talking about what happens to plant telomeres in space. Borja and I had a brilliant chat about his breathtaking research, including an upcoming flight experiment, a special mutant Arabidopsis strain, and the sci-fi experience of putting your plants into a particle accelerator. And if you’ve ever wondered what plant a Spaniard would choose to take into space, well… you won’t want to miss it!

Astrobotany Image: Space Cherry Blossom - theunconventionalgardener.com - Japan
theunconventionalgardener.com
24.06.2024

Astrobotany Image: Space Cherry Blossom

In April 2014, a cherry tree unexpectedly bloomed at the Ganjoji temple in central Japan. The tree grew from a seed that spent eight months on the International Space Station (ISS), and when the sapling flowered it was only four years old. Trees of this species don’t normally flower until they are ten. This tree grew from a seed harvested from the celebrated “Chujo-hime-seigan-zakura” tree, which is said to be 1,250 years old.  Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata took the seeds to the ISS in November 2008, and they orbited the Earth 4,100 times before coming home. 

Astrobotany Image: Thomas Pesquet with tomato seeds - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
10.06.2024

Astrobotany Image: Thomas Pesquet with tomato seeds

This photo shows European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet floating with 1.2 million tomato seeds that launched to the ISS on 19 February 2017.

Astrobotany Image: Dutch Seeds in Space - theunconventionalgardener.com - Netherlands
theunconventionalgardener.com
03.06.2024

Astrobotany Image: Dutch Seeds in Space

In 2004, over 70,000 Dutch children participated in the Seeds in Space experiment. They sowed rocket/arugula seeds in a rocket-shaped kit here on Earth, while ESA astronaut André Kuipers sowed his on board the International Space Station. The kits had light and dark chambers, to compare the growth of the seeds in the presence or absence of light. The seeds in the dark chamber grew taller, but were yellow. In the light chamber, the seedlings were shorter, with wider stems and a healthier green colour. The experiment was organised by Space Research Organization Netherlands (SRON).

Astrobotany Image: Space Potatoes - theunconventionalgardener.com - city Columbia
theunconventionalgardener.com
20.05.2024

Astrobotany Image: Space Potatoes

On 5 November 1995, Space Shuttle Columbia landed after nearly 16 days in orbit. During its mission, five tiny potato tubers grew from leaf cuttings on board. This technique is used on Earth to grow virus-free seed potatoes. Tests later showed that there were no significant differences between the space-flown tubers and ones grown on Earth.

Space-Baked Cookie Finds a New Home at the National Air and Space Museum - theunconventionalgardener.com - state Virginia
theunconventionalgardener.com
13.05.2024

Space-Baked Cookie Finds a New Home at the National Air and Space Museum

Header image: Window View of Astronaut Holding DoubleTree Cookie. Image credit: Hilton

Artemis Moon Trees - theunconventionalgardener.com - Usa
theunconventionalgardener.com
03.05.2024

Artemis Moon Trees

In 1971, NASA astronaut Stuart Roosa, a former US Department of Agriculture Forest Services smoke jumper, carried tree seeds into lunar orbit during the Apollo 14 mission. The The US Department of Agriculture Forest Services grew those seeds into seedlings, and the distributed the resulting ‘Moon Trees’ to national monuments and dignitaries around the world, with a large number distributed as part of the United States Bicentennial events.  

Mission Patch: STS-78 - theunconventionalgardener.com - Canada - India - city Columbia
theunconventionalgardener.com
03.05.2024

Mission Patch: STS-78

STS-78 was the fifth Life and Microgravity Spacelab Mission (LMS) and involved space shuttle Columbia, five NASA astronauts and two international astronauts – Jean-Jacques Favier (CNES) and Robert Thirsk (CSA). 

Artemis III will grow plants on the Moon! - theunconventionalgardener.com - state Colorado
theunconventionalgardener.com
03.05.2024

Artemis III will grow plants on the Moon!

Exciting news from NASA – the space agency has selected the first science experiments designed for astronauts to deploy on the surface of the Moon during Artemis III (currently planned for 2026) – and one of them will grow plants!

UK Funding for Space Plants Research - theunconventionalgardener.com - Britain - Australia - city London
theunconventionalgardener.com
03.05.2024

UK Funding for Space Plants Research

Header image: Lettuce in a grow room. Image credit: University of Western Australia (UWA).

TP to Uranus - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
03.05.2024

TP to Uranus

Ryan and I are big fans of Who Gives a Crap, the certified B Corp that supplies our eco-friendly toilet roll. So I was thrilled this morning to discover that they’re setting their sights a lot higher, and developing a mission to send toilet paper to Uranus!*

Festival Toilets Hold Clues to Growing Plants on Mars - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
12.03.2024

Festival Toilets Hold Clues to Growing Plants on Mars

Gardeners of the Galaxy friend Wieger Wamelink and his research team at Wageningen University & Research and the B.A.S.E. project investigate how we can create a circular and sustainable agricultural ecosystem for food production… on the Moon or Mars.

Space Ecology with Patrick Grubbs (GotG58) - theunconventionalgardener.com - state Arizona
theunconventionalgardener.com
11.03.2024

Space Ecology with Patrick Grubbs (GotG58)

Hello, Gardeners of the Galaxy! It’s time for a new episode, and our Mission Specialist for this one is Patrick Grubbs, who recently completed a Professional Science Master’s degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture at the University of Arizona. Patrick is one of the people behind the Space Ecology Workshop, an annual virtual symposium on bioregenerative life support, space agriculture, closed ecological systems, and more. He also co-founded The Spring Institute for Forests on the Moon, an international non-profit research organization developing closed ecological life support technology and working to democratize space access in underrepresented countries. The Spring Institute is working on some really exciting astrobotany projects, and Patrick is here to tell us about… some of them!

The Secret to Lunar Gardening Lies in the Soil - theunconventionalgardener.com - state Texas
theunconventionalgardener.com
29.01.2024

The Secret to Lunar Gardening Lies in the Soil

Jessica Atkins of Texas A&M University and Sara Oliveira Santos at Brown University have published preliminary results suggesting that commonly used gardening techniques could help grow chickpeas on the Moon.

Space Pasta Flying on the Axiom 3 Private Space Mission - theunconventionalgardener.com - Turkey - Italy
theunconventionalgardener.com
19.01.2024

Space Pasta Flying on the Axiom 3 Private Space Mission

Last week, I showed you the Turkish astrobotany investigations flying on the Axiom 3 Private Space Mission, which launched to the International Space Mission yesterday. The plant experiments are part of a larger research program for the mission, much of which focuses on human biology and medical research. 

Space Science with Marshall Porterfield (GotG57) - theunconventionalgardener.com - Usa - Washington
theunconventionalgardener.com
16.01.2024

Space Science with Marshall Porterfield (GotG57)

In this episode, Emma the Space Gardener talks with Marshall Porterfield, Professor of Biological Engineering & Space Biophysics at Purdue University, who offers up some highlights from his long career in space science. During a stint as Division Director for Space Life and Physical Sciences at NASA headquarters in Washington DC. Marshall oversaw the Human Research, Physical Sciences, and Space Biology Programs including research and engineering assets at six NASA centres. He established the first open science, and advanced integrated omics research programs including NASA GeneLab and the NASA Twins Study.

Plants Flying on the Axiom 3 Private Space Mission - theunconventionalgardener.com - Turkey - Sweden
theunconventionalgardener.com
08.01.2024

Plants Flying on the Axiom 3 Private Space Mission

Header image: An illustration of a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaching the International Space Station for docking. Image credit: NASA

Space Spuds - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
27.11.2023

Space Spuds

A light-hearted weekend art project: making some of the pink fir apple potatoes I grew this year look like asteroids!

Gardeners of the Galaxy Bonus Episodes - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
20.11.2023

Gardeners of the Galaxy Bonus Episodes

Did you know that the Gardeners of the Galaxy podcast has a Patreon? It’s one of the main ways that my rocket boosters can support the show financially, and give me more time to work on it.

SpaceX CRS-29 Launched Duckweed into Space - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
14.11.2023

SpaceX CRS-29 Launched Duckweed into Space

Agro-tech manufacturer GreenOnyx has announced its flagship product, Wanna Greens®, the natural fresh Wolffia vegetables that surpass any traditional greens, made history as the first duckweed plant to rocket into space* on SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS).

Microbial Magic Turns Moon Rock into Fertile Soil - theunconventionalgardener.com - China
theunconventionalgardener.com
13.11.2023

Microbial Magic Turns Moon Rock into Fertile Soil

Header image: Nicotiana benthamiana seedlings growing in simulated lunar soil in a laboratory at the China Agricultural University in Beijing. Image credit: Yitong Xia via REUTERS. 

Vegetable cultivation in space lays the foundation for China’s deep-space exploration - theunconventionalgardener.com - China
theunconventionalgardener.com
27.10.2023

Vegetable cultivation in space lays the foundation for China’s deep-space exploration

According to the China Global Television Network, the vegetable cultivation experiment carried out by Chinese astronauts during the Shenzhou-16 mission to the Tiangong space station has yielded a good harvest, verifying the reliability of its plant growth technology in space.

A Comprehensive Blueprint for Life on Mars - theunconventionalgardener.com - Usa - Britain
theunconventionalgardener.com
25.10.2023

A Comprehensive Blueprint for Life on Mars

Header image: An artist’s depiction of a fictional Mars colony, with solar arrays and underground greenhouses. Image credit: NASA

UK Astronauts Set to Soar: Axiom Space Mission Agreement Unveiled - theunconventionalgardener.com - Britain
theunconventionalgardener.com
25.10.2023

UK Astronauts Set to Soar: Axiom Space Mission Agreement Unveiled

Header image: UK astronauts Rosemary Coogan, John McFall and Meganne Christian. Image credit: UK Space Agency

Space Research Gets Heavy - theunconventionalgardener.com - Netherlands
theunconventionalgardener.com
16.10.2023

Space Research Gets Heavy

Header image: ESA’s Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) running at full speed. Image credit: ESA –A. Le Floc’h

The First Plants on the Space Shuttle (GotG56) - theunconventionalgardener.com - Britain - city Columbia
theunconventionalgardener.com
05.10.2023

The First Plants on the Space Shuttle (GotG56)

In the summer of 1863, a world-famous English botanist was pondering why the shoots of climbing plants twirl around as they grow. In this episode, join Emma the Space Gardener as she explores the fascinating world of plant movement, and what that has to do with the first plants that ever flew on NASA’s space shuttle.

Pardon the intrusion - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
04.10.2023

Pardon the intrusion

Please excuse any unusual website shennanigans – Ryan and I are dealing with a case of copyright infringement. (Again.)

Lettuce Growing on Tiangong - theunconventionalgardener.com - China
theunconventionalgardener.com
20.09.2023

Lettuce Growing on Tiangong

The current crew (Shenzhou-16) on China’s Tiangong space station are growing a crop of lettuce. This video shows them watering the crop (from the bottom).

Fossils in Space - theunconventionalgardener.com - Usa - Germany - South Africa - state Montana
theunconventionalgardener.com
18.09.2023

Fossils in Space

On 8 September 2023, Virgin Galactic’s ‘Galactic 03’ mission flew three tourists to the edge of space. The news that one of them  (Tim Nash) carried a pocketful of priceless hominin bones has caused a backlash from the scientific community, due to their being both irreplaceable artefacts and human ancestral remains.

Kombucha in Space - theunconventionalgardener.com - China
theunconventionalgardener.com
12.09.2023

Kombucha in Space

Header image: The Expose-R2 facility outside the International Space Station. Image credit: Roscosmos.

Chinese Astronauts Celebrate a Good Lettuce Harvest - theunconventionalgardener.com - China
theunconventionalgardener.com
25.08.2023

Chinese Astronauts Celebrate a Good Lettuce Harvest

China Central Television has produced a short video showing the plant experiments growing on the Tiangong space station. The Shenzhou-16 crew has been in orbit for almost three months, and says their space vegetable garden has given a good lettuce harvest.

Potato Pete recipes for the 21st Century - theunconventionalgardener.com
theunconventionalgardener.com
21.08.2023

Potato Pete recipes for the 21st Century

‘Potato Pete’ was a cartoon character from the WW2 era, whose job was to persuade people to fill up on homegrown potatoes rather than bread made from imported wheat. Potatoes made it into all kinds of recipes during the war, replacing some of the fat in pastry and even turning into dessert. The Ministry of Food published the Potato Pete Recipe Book, which you can read online.

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