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Growth at Zero Gravity

  1. Feb 12, 2004 #1
    Hi Folks
    I posted this af astronomy and cosmology, but maybe it's more general ...:

    Plants, trees, corn etc. all grow upwards, that is in the oppsite direction of the local gravitational field (here disregarding the effect of the sunlight).
    If I grow say wheat on a spinning old fashion record player, in total darkness, I should see the wheat growing in direction of the center, with an angle determined by the angular frequenzy and the distance from the center, I am about to perform that experiment.

    I was then wondering if anyone knew what would happen if wheat was grewn in zero gravity AND in darkness ??
    Does anyone know of experiments performed ?

    Zero Gravity

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2004 #2


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    Science Advisor

    First, NASA has done many experiments on plants growing in weightless conditions.

    Secondly, all experiments on plants grown in darkness (except mushrooms) have pretty much the same result.
  4. Feb 12, 2004 #3
    ... Well I know that NASA has done a lot of experiments, but I just cant find specific experiments reporting growth in zero gravity AND zero light.

    The idea is not to grow plants in darkness ...:=)
    But to eliminate the sunlight as an indicator direction.

    Haven't you done the experinment in promary school where grass
    was grewn in total darkness and in sunlight, observing that the one in darkness grew faster (trying to get up into the sunlight).

    If there is no light, and no gravitation, how will the plant
    "know" in which direction to grow ?

    By doing the experiment on the turning plate, you will show that the plant actually "feels" the local direction of gravitation.


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