AstroPlant update, week 2

After the first week of daily plant inspection, our AstroPlant seemed to be doing well, and we concluded that we could probably trust it to survive if we glanced away for a moment. The basil was left to fend for itself on day 8; nobody came into the lab to check on it.

On day 9, we found the plant had indeed survived its time alone, but it looked slightly shrunken and, once again, there were black spots on some of the leaves.

The isolation of space is a struggle for this basil. It would be interesting to compare it with basil grown in the AstroPlant system from a seed. How many of this plant’s problems are caused by the fact that it was used to different conditions before it was introduced to the AstroPlant environment?

We removed the worst of the leaves and changed the water. Having given the plant a week without nutrient solution, we also introduced a new solution: Canna Aqua Vega A & B. We added 30ml in total – 15ml of A, 15ml of B – to the ten-litre water supply.

Our next visit was on day 12. This meant the plant had been alone for two days in a row, which we were a bit nervous about, given that it hadn’t been looking its best after a single day without a visit. However, it seemed to have taken well to the nutrients, and we were pleased to find it looking better, with fewer spots on the leaves.

Our visits on days 13 and 14 also went well! The basil is looking healthy and has started to put out new leaves.

After our ill-fated first AstroPlant attempts, it’s heartening to see this plant doing well in this strange environment.

Darwin Innovation Group is a UK-based company that provides services related to autonomous vehicles and communications. If you’re interested in working with us, take a look at our careers page. If you’d like to know how we can help your organisation make use of autonomous vehicles, contact us. You can also follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

For more about growing plants in space, return to our AstroPlant page.

News tags