When we move off into the interplanetary expanse, we will still need to be well fed. But food isn’t exactly abundant in space, or on other planets like Mars. The answer? Space crops.
But what are the challenges of growing plants in space? And how could we develop crops to support long-term space habitation?
Cosmos asked Professor Matthew Gilliham, the director of the Waite Research Institute at the University of Adelaide. His research focuses on crop plant nutrition and stress resilience, and he is currently developing programs in space agriculture – including the growth and adaptation of plants to space environments.
The 2019 SCINEMA International Science Film Festival entry, Space to Explore, is an insightful documentary by director Katherine Dubois following aerospace engineer Natalie Panek and her dream of becoming an astronaut.
Deborah Devis is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) in biology and philosophy from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in plant molecular genetics from the University of Adelaide.
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