Plants in Space
In my artistic work, I have always returned in various ways to working with: Nature, using live plants and crops, often housed within domes that I have constructed as exhibition spaces in different locations. I have an interest in the conditions and circumstances of humans and our planet, which I have explored through various media such as painting, film, and physical cultivation.
I have received an invitation to participate in an exhibition at RUM44 Mellby Stommen, an agricultural property that produces cereals located in the Västgöta Plain. Over the past 10 years, alongside agriculture, it has evolved into an artistic and cultural center where diversity and permissiveness take center stage.
The Västgöta Plain is historically characterized by cultivation and livestock management due to its geographical location. The oldest Swedish legal text, the Västgöta Law, highlights the historical and cultural significance of the area. In this environment, I can't help but contemplate the contemporary idea of building colonies/space stations on neighboring planets and their moons through scientific and engineering knowledge, in the pursuit of rare metals and minerals.
As someone interested in food and cultivation, I naturally wonder what the astronauts, the space colonizers, will eat, and what can be grown in space? Cultivation in space has been carried out on the American space station Skylab and the Soviet space station Salyut 7.
In my project, I aim to engage in research and work with light and cultivation within a closed atmosphere, playfully based on a starting point from the Västgöta Plain.
Space agriculture refers to the practice of growing crops in space, either in spacecraft or on planetary surfaces such as the moon or Mars. Some of the crops that are currently being studied for use in space agriculture include:
Leafy greens: Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale are popular crops for space agriculture. They are relatively easy to grow and provide a good source of fresh food for astronauts.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a nutritious crop that can be grown in a variety of environments, including space. They are rich in vitamin C and other nutrients and could be an important crop for providing fresh food in space.
Radishes: Radishes are another crop that is relatively easy to grow and provides a good source of fresh food for astronauts. They are high in vitamin C and other nutrients and have a short growth cycle.
Soybeans: Soybeans are a good source of protein and could be an important crop for providing protein in a space-based diet. They have been grown successfully in space and are being studied for use in space agriculture.
Potatoes: Potatoes are a nutritious crop that can be grown in a variety of environments, including space. They are high in carbohydrates and could be an important crop for providing energy in space.
These are just a few examples of the crops that are being studied for use in space agriculture. As research in this field continues, scientists may find new and innovative ways to grow a wider variety of crops in space.
The rocket has six glass containers with substrates. Water and seeds were added to them before they were sealed. Each container has an LED lamp with a programmed light control. Container 1 is the bottommost one, and container 6 is the topmost.
1.Zinnias were grown on the ISS to investigate the challenges of growing flowering plants in space. They were chosen for their vibrant flowers and longer growth cycle.
2.Tomato, NASA's Veggie experiment, which involves growing plants in the Vegetable Production System on the International Space Station (ISS), has included tomato plants as one of the crops grown in space. These experiments aim to explore the potential for sustainable food production during long-duration space missions and the potential benefits of fresh produce for astronauts' diets.
3.Peas, (Pisum sativum) have been cultivated in space as part of scientific experiments to study the behavior and development of plants in microgravity environments. An example is the "Plant Habitat-02" (PH-02) experiment conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA. This experiment involved the cultivation of peas to investigate how they grow and develop in space compared to terrestrial conditions.
4.Mizuna, a type of Japanese mustard green, has been grown on the ISS as well, to observe its growth patterns and response to space conditions.
5.Radishes were grown on the ISS as part of a NASA experiment to understand how different light levels affect the growth of these plants.
6.Nasturtium, is an edible flower that has also been grown in space as part of experiments to study plant behavior and development in space environments. Additionally, nasturtium has been used to explore the possibilities of cultivating edible plants in space to support astronauts' dietary needs during longer space journeys.