Growing Beyond Earth-a Citizen Science Project

https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/citizenscience/growing-beyond-earth-a-citizen-science-project

Photo of a young female student watering seeds in a grow box emitting a pink glow (left) and a female astronaut water seeds on the International Space Station in a grow box that is also emitting a pink glow.
Left: 6th grade student Kailani Labady watering newly planted seeds in a Growing Beyond Earth growth chamber, José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy, Hialeah, Florida. Right: Dr. Shannon Walker watering seedlings, including a plant variety selected through GBE student research, in a Veggie growth chamber on the International Space Station.

Crewed exploration beyond Earth orbit, such as a Journey to Mars, will require a food system that can keep astronauts healthy for a long duration. As preserved foods lose their nutritional value over time, produce grown in space may be an excellent source of supplemental nutrients. Growing plants may also provide psychological benefits for astronauts traveling far from home. The Growing Beyond Earth Program, a partnership between Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Space Crop Production research group at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, has had more than 10,000 middle and high school students contribute to NASA research.  Participating teachers in grades 6-12 receive all the materials to conduct research similar to how plants are being grown in the Veggie chamber on the International Space Station.  Students conduct experiment trials, collect data on different crop types and growing techniques, and report these data in a dedicated online portal.  The compiled data are accessed by Fairchild and NASA scientists, and crops and approaches that work well in classrooms are then tested at Kennedy Space Center

Since the program began in 2015, students have tested approximately 200 plant types in numerous locations across the nation.  The different classroom locations and student scientists involved ensure variability in testing conditions, and if plant varieties do well in many locations, they are likely robust and resilient enough to grow in space.  Two student-selected crop varieties have now been successfully grown in Veggie on the International Space Station, and eaten by the astronauts.  In addition, students have tested a large variety of approaches to growing plants, including variations in lighting, fertilizer, multi-cropping, and pollination.  This NASA Citizen Science Program is yielding a bountiful harvest for NASA Science!

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Published: 
Friday, April 16, 2021 - 14:02

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Sees Venus Orbital Dust Ring in 1st Complete View

https://science.nasa.gov/nasa%E2%80%99s-parker-solar-probe-sees-venus-orbital-dust-ring-1st-complete-view

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Friday, April 16, 2021 - 12:00
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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission has given scientists the first complete look at Venus’ orbital dust ring, a collection of microscopic dust particles that circulates around the Sun along Venus’ orbit.

Hubble Watches Cosmic Light Bend

https://science.nasa.gov/hubble-watches-cosmic-light-bend

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470178
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Friday, April 16, 2021 - 09:00
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Hubble captured this image of the galaxy cluster Abell 2813 demonstrating spectacularly the concept of gravitational lensing.

New NASA Visualization Probes the Light-bending Dance of Binary Black Holes

https://science.nasa.gov/new-nasa-visualization-probes-light-bending-dance-binary-black-holes

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470172
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Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 13:00
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A pair of orbiting black holes millions of times the Sun’s mass perform a hypnotic dance in a new NASA visualization. The movie traces how the black holes distort and redirect light emanating from the maelstrom of hot gas – called an accretion disk – that surrounds each one.

SHIELDS Up! NASA Rocket to Survey Our Solar System’s Windshield

https://science.nasa.gov/shields-nasa-rocket-survey-our-solar-system%E2%80%99s-windshield

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Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 10:00
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The soon-to-launch SHIELDS sounding rocket will observe light interstellar particles drifting into our solar system. They could reveal new details about interstellar space and the shape of our Sun’s magnetic bubble.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Leaves its Mark on Asteroid Bennu

https://science.nasa.gov/nasas-osiris-rex-leaves-its-mark-asteroid-bennu

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470124
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Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 14:00
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Like boot prints on the Moon, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft left its mark on asteroid Bennu. New images — taken during the spacecraft's final fly-over on April 7 before heading back to Earth — reveal the aftermath of its historic encounter and "TAG" sample collection at the asteroid in October 2020.

Telescopes Unite in Unprecedented Observations of Famous Black Hole

https://science.nasa.gov/telescopes-unite-unprecedented-observations-famous-black-hole

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470105
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Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 10:00
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In April 2019, scientists released the first image of a black hole in the galaxy M87 using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). However, that remarkable achievement was just the beginning of the science story to be told.