“Astronauts are always taking plants up with them in their personal gear. Some carry terrarium balls, and the Russians grow onions in baggies. They want so badly to have something green and something fresh in their diet,” explains botanist Terri Lomax, director of NASA’s Fundamental Space Biology Division. “Every single astronaut I’ve talked to has told me they want plants with them up there.” Actually, if space travelers are going to be sent on long-duration missions, they won’t be forced to hide seeds and bulbs in their pressure-suit pockets. The farther out we venture, the more expensive it is to resupply the missions, so space farms will be an integral part of the life-support systems in spacecraft and planetary colonies.
Mastering astro agriculture needed for explorers’ mental and physical health The San Diego Union-Tribune
UNR scientist picked for Mars exploration team The San Diego Union-Tribune
A researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno has been chosen to participate in next year’s Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Geophysics professor Wendy Calvin was one of 28 scientists chosen for the project by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, out of 84 who applied. “It’s really exciting to have a real mission looming in the works and get a chance to work with flight hardware and surface operations,” Calvin told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Calvin said she has analyzed data from previous Mars missions, but this will be the first time she has been a member of a mission’s science team. When the rover lands, possibly in January or February 2004, Calvin said the team will be required to be at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, for about four months during the entire surface mission.
Group gets ready for human travel to Mars The San Diego Union-Tribune
Shannon Rupert, back in San Diego after two weeks in a simulated Mars laboratory in the Utah desert, was craving vegetables. The greenhouse outside the MARS Desert Research Station recently blew apart in 92 mph winter winds, so Rupert’s crew had had little fresh produce. Now, back at the San Diego chapter of The Mars Society, Rupert was munching on celery and carrots, describing for her colleagues an eerie Utah landscape of red and pink