What is Astro-botony?
Astro-botany is the study of plants in controlled space environments. The unique habitat in space impact plant genetics as plants respond to the environment on a molecular level.
Why is Astro-botony important?
Astro-botanical research strives to improve agricultural productivity. Space food growth is important for human spaceflight in terms of consumption and oxygen production which creates psychological benefits for human spaceflight crews.
As reported from Walter Criswell at The University of North Dakota ‘an increased focus on sustainability and agriculture will be a key factor to successful long-term space exploration and colonization’. (https://blogs.und.edu/und-today/2023/04/to-boldly-grow-food-where-no-food-has-been-grown-before/)
What’s currently happening in the world of Astro-botony and how is GyroPlant contributing?
Space research opportunities are imperative to tackle challenges of growing food in space such as gravity and it's effects on root development, lighting and inhospitable environments.
GyroPlant’s technology is of huge importance in this field - helping to overcome issues that space technology companies face with single-use substrates. Astro-botany research has already had a huge influence on our work at GyroPlant, from determining design decisions and exploring new ways for seed germination and early stage growth. The GyroCup is currently being evaluated in Japan for its potential in supporting sustainable crop production in future space habitats beyond low-Earth orbit.
GyroPlant’s Director of Astrobotany R&D, Gil Cauthorn, is also a Ph.D. student and researcher at the University of North Dakota. Their research team at the department of space studies are currently exploring opportunities in growing space food on earth and in space.
Our findings will impact our R&D for growing applications on Earth, spanning from CEA agriculture, greenhouses and home growing systems.
We look forward to developing our research and contribution to astro-botany!