Alternative Energy Crops Could Boost Possibility Of Space Colonization..

Last time when I commented on the possibilities of future space colonization, I received quite sincere comments from readers… But now it seems we have overcome another problem regarding space colonization with no adverse effects.

What if space held the key to producing alternative energy crops on Earth? That’s what researchers are hoping to find in a new experiment on the International Space Station.

The experiment, National Lab Pathfinder-Cells 3, is aimed at learning whether microgravity can help jatropha curcas plant cells grow faster to produce biofuel, or renewable fuel derived from biological matter. Jatropha is known to produce high quality oil that can be converted into an alternative energy fuel, or biofuel.

By studying the effects of microgravity on jatropha cells, researchers hope to accelerate the cultivation of the plant for commercial use by improving characteristics such as cell structure, growth and development. This is the first study to assess the effects of microgravity on cells of a biofuel plant.

“As the search for alternate energy sources has become a top priority, the results from this study could add value for commercialization of a new product,” said Wagner Vendrame, principal investigator for the experiment at the University of Florida in Homestead. “Our goal is to verify if microgravity will induce any significant changes in the cells that could affect plant growth and development back on Earth.”

Launched on space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-130 mission in February, cell cultures of jatropha were sent to the space station in special flasks containing nutrients and vitamins. The cells will be exposed to microgravity until they return to Earth aboard space shuttle Discovery’s STS-131 mission targeted for April.

For comparison studies of how fast the cultures grow, a replicated set of samples are being maintained at the University of Florida’s Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead.

“Watching the space shuttle go up carrying a little piece of my work is an indescribable experience,” said Vendrame. “Knowing that my experiment could contribute to creating a sustainable means for biofuel production on Earth, and therefore making this a better world adds special value to the work.”


About bruceleeeowe
An engineering student and independent researcher. I'm researching and studying quantum physics(field theories). Also searching for alien life.

5 Responses to Alternative Energy Crops Could Boost Possibility Of Space Colonization..

  1. Mark Louis says:

    Interesting information, Bruce! Wouldn’t we see something manque even if we have successfully grown crops in space? 😉 remember space radiation and other aspects. I think we will encounter some adverse effects.

  2. dad2059 says:

    Radiation would be an issue, but if the colony was an O’Neill type that was inside Earth’s magnetosphere, radiation might not affect the plants that much.

    Moon or Mars colonies, you might have a problem!

  3. Mark Louis says:

    For a deep space research program we don’t need space colony of type O,Neill. Even to portray real solar system we need colonization of mars and moon. That’s I have serious contention with your argue.

  4. Pingback: Growing Crops on Other Planets « WeirdSciences

  5. Pingback: Hydrotropi: A Hope for Space Colonization « WeirdSciences

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