What have experiments in microgravity taught us?

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Offline CZARCAR

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What have experiments in microgravity taught us?
« on: 09/07/2011 12:34:44 »
what gizmos, revelations,etc. resulting from experiments in microgravity?
« Last Edit: 11/07/2011 21:15:09 by chris »

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Offline imatfaal

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Re: What have experiments in microgravity taught us?
« Reply #1 on: 11/07/2011 10:39:28 »
The latest nature was pretty scathing about the quality of experimentation and research on the shuttle's missions.  I will dig out a link
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Offline chris

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What have experiments in microgravity taught us?
« Reply #2 on: 11/07/2011 21:19:49 »
An interesting experiment carried out by the shuttle Columbia during its last (fateful) voyage but luckily survived the disaster was a study on the growth of moss in microgravity. For many years biologists have wondered at the uncanny ability of plants to demonstrate a positive geotropism (growth towards gravity), but never understood how it was achieved. By culturing moss in space, plant physiologists discovered that the cells naturally grow in a spiral configuration. Gravity modifies this growth pattern by causing starch grains inside the cells to settle in the "downwards" direction, applying pressure to the inner skeleton of the plant cells and altering the growth characteristics. Effectively this provides the cells with their own in-built spirit level, which is how they tell up from down.

Knowledge of this sort of behaviour is critical if we want to traverse space because on long missions we'll need to grow food, and that means rearing plants.

Chris
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx

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Offline CZARCAR

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What have experiments in microgravity taught us?
« Reply #3 on: 12/07/2011 17:00:40 »
thanx....sounds like the cart be4 the horse theory