Apr 17, 2017 06:54 PM EDT
NASA’s second plant growth system, Advanced Plant Habitat was reported to ride on the Atlas V rocket and travel to the International Space Station. The mission was further mentioned to delve deeper in understanding growing plants in space more.
According to Florida Today, the journey of NASA's Advanced Plant Habitat will be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41. The flight was also stated to have an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft which launch window is slated to open at 11:11 a.m. on April 19 atop the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket.
The mission was identified to be Orbital ATK’s seventh travel to ISS under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. It was also mentioned that the first plant growth experiment of NASA was known as the Vegetable Production System. While the Advanced Plant Habitat aboard the Atlas V, the VPS was identified to hitch the ride on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The mission dubbed as “Veggie” was reported to sprout a red romaine lettuce back in 2015 making it the first grown NASA vegetable consumed by ISS astronauts in space. Aside from NASA’s Advanced Plant Habitat, it was also made known that the Atlas V would also travel along with 2,200 pounds of other science experiments per Orlando Sentinel.
Yet, it was stated by program manager Bryan Onate that the difference between the two plant missions to ISS was Advanced Plant Habitat’s inclusion of 180 sensors and lesser crew aboard. "We'll learn a lot of invaluable information as we move on beyond low Earth orbit and move out to Mars and do food production out there in the future," he stated last March.
Kennedy Space Center scientists were mentioned to be informed about the Advanced Plant Habitat through those sensors and be able to control everything. The plants were said to be placed under the habitat inside a box. Chief project scientist, Dr. Howard Levine stated that plants that would be grown were arabidopsis, a small plant related to cabbage and dwarf wheat. Some remaining components were then mentioned by Dr. Levine to aboard SpaceX's next Falcon 9 launch to the ISS instead.
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