News Menu

News
View Latest Posts
View Subscriptions
Posting Instructions

Active Bloggers

LaMarr Blackmon LaMarr Blackmon
Cal St Univ, Long Beach class of 1992
HBCU CONNECT HBCU CONNECT
Central State University class of 1995
Nicole Rankine Nicole Rankine
University of Georgia class of 2000
Reggie Culpepper Reggie Culpepper
Clark Atlanta University class of 1998
Anita Ginsburg Anita Ginsburg
class of
Randi Payton Randi Payton
University of the District of Columbia class of 1982
Will Moss Will Moss
Hampton University class of 1995
Kama Chavis Kama Chavis
Montclair St Univ class of 1991

ASU Gets NASA Grant to Grow Plants on the U.S. Space Station

ASU Gets NASA Grant to Grow Plants on the U.S. Space Station
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on October 15, 2021

Alabama State University's mustard greens are soon to be out of this world...for real.

Mustard green plants are widely grown and consumed in the Deep South, but a grant from NASA will soon have ASU's greens growing and eaten beyond the bounds of earth --- specifically in the U.S. Space Station, thanks to a grant awarded to Dr. Komal Vig, professor of Microbiology at ASU. The $100,000 NASA grant is titled “Improved Drought Tolerance of Mustard Greens with Atmospheric Pressure Plasma.”

"With limited or no water being expended to grow the greens, we are perfecting a method to irrigate them with a special plasma that we are now perfecting in my ASU lab - with the help from our student interns - which is composed of a combination of many things that include the Noble gases of argon and helium,” Vig said. ”This project aims to study drought stress using ‘Amara’ mustard greens and if and how treatment with atmospheric pressure plasma can improve the plant’s drought tolerance and nutritional load.”

This project will be a collaboration among investigators at Alabama State University (ASU), the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), and Alabama A&M University (AAMU). The team combines expertise and lab capabilities in microbiology and genetics (ASU), plasma science and technology (UAH), and agriculture (AAMU).

NASA scientists explained that water is used for multiple purposes in a 'crewed' space mission including drinking, cleaning, food preparation, and oxygen production for respiration and rocket fuel.



Because of a high demand for water in so many instances and the desire for crews to have fresh vegetables for consumption of crop-plants that are grown on the Space Station, this experiment was born. In plants, water deficiency decreases the total nutrient uptake and concentration of nutrients in plant tissues. One of the main purposes of the ASU experiment is to produce mustard greens with a good nutrient value.

NASA data explains that as human space exploration advances, crop-plants will play an important role in a sustained human presence in space, on the moon, and on Mars. Crop-plants such as leafy greens and fresh vegetables provide nutrients, varied textures and flavors, and contribute to astronauts’ mental health.

"Growing plants in the engineered environment of space habitats can introduce multiple abiotic stresses that can impact the plant’s growth and nutritional value that is the nexus of the grant's goal, which is to grow them with little or no traditional moisture, yet still with a good level of nutritional value," stated NASA officials.

Vig explained that this is one of the first times that ASU has worked with an experiment aboard the U.S. Space Station.

At ASU, the focus of this grant will be on genetic studies to investigate how plasma can change the gene profile of a plant and help it in resisting drought. These studies will enable us to grow plants on the Space Station under very limited water conditions. This grant is an initial award that will fund the preliminary work in this exciting field of Space Science experiments with an aim to get more funding for ASU next year from NASA," stated Vig. "I am not aware of a previous time that the University has been involved in an experiment on the Space Station that involved the growth of plants."
If you enjoyed this article, Join HBCU CONNECT today for similar content and opportunities via email!
Comments
Please Login To Post Comments...
Email:
Password:

 
More From This Author
Penn National Gaming Dedicates over $4 Million to STEM Scholarship Program with HBCUs
HBCU Grads Make History, Become Youngest Owners of Black-Owned Wine Brand
Clark Atlanta University Athletic Director Announces Leadership Change for CAU Football Program
H-E-B Chairman Charles Butt donates $5 Million for PVAMU Founders Scholarships
Healthcare Industry Innovator Justin Bayless Donates $1.5 million to Morehouse College
Randy Huggins, Executive Producer and Writer of Hit STARZ Network Drama BMF, Says Grambling State Changed His Life
Latest News
An HBCU-focused platform just for you! Connect with global career opportunities for HBCU talent!

An HBCU-focused platform just for you! Connect with global career opportunities for HBCU talent!

Apollo HBCUNet is an innovative platform powered by CareerBuilder dedicated to expanding opportunities and access for students and alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities by connecting ...more
Reggie Culpepper • 256 Views • November 24th, 2021
NFBPA is now accepting Scholarship & Poster Contest Applications

NFBPA is now accepting Scholarship & Poster Contest Applications

Submission Deadline to Apply for Scholarships and to Enter the Poster Contest is Monday, January 17, 2022 11:59 PM ET *Students are eligible to apply for the Poster Contest and one or more Sch ...more
Reggie Culpepper • 190 Views • November 24th, 2021
Texas Southern University receives $1 million research grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Texas Southern University receives $1 million research grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Texas Southern University (TSU) recently received a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish a Center of Excellence that will advance transdisciplinary a ...more
Reggie Culpepper • 130 Views • November 23rd, 2021
HBCU Meharry Medical College Gifts Students $10,000 ahead of Thanksgiving with No Strings Attached!

HBCU Meharry Medical College Gifts Students $10,000 ahead of Thanksgiving with No Strings Attached!

Meharry Medical College announced Monday that it will give its 956 students $10,000 each to help alleviate any financial strain from the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. James Hildreth, president and CEO ...more
Will Moss • 2,186 Views • November 23rd, 2021
Penn National Gaming Dedicates over $4 Million to STEM Scholarship Program with HBCUs

Penn National Gaming Dedicates over $4 Million to STEM Scholarship Program with HBCUs

Penn National Gaming, Inc. recently announced that it has launched a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarship Program in partnership with HBCUs in states where it operates. Th ...more
Kennedy Williams • 276 Views • November 23rd, 2021
Popular News
Louisiana Upholds Life Sentence to Black Man For Stealing Hedge Trimmers in 1997

Louisiana Upholds Life Sentence to Black Man For Stealing Hedge Trimmers in 1997

While this may not be HBCU related news, as an AFrican American male, I had to share this appalling decision by the Louisiana court system to keep a man in jail with a life sentence for such a petty c ...more
Will Moss • 381,793 Views • August 6th, 2020
Apple to Invest over $40 Million Dollars into HBCUs - Time to major in Computer Science!!!

Apple to Invest over $40 Million Dollars into HBCUs - Time to major in Computer Science!!!

On Tuesday Johnny C. Taylor, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund stopped by “NewsOne Now” to make a major announcement that could literally change the lives of thousands of HBCU st ...more
Will Moss • 115,237 Views • March 11th, 2015
Blonde Instagram Model Goes Viral for Graduating from HBCU and Pledging Delta Sigma Theta!

Blonde Instagram Model Goes Viral for Graduating from HBCU and Pledging Delta Sigma Theta!

A blonde woman is going viral this morning, for graduating from A Historically Black College while pledging a Black sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. @Blonde_HBCU The woman, an IG ...more
Will Moss • 102,132 Views • November 30th, 2020
Kamala Harris Promises to Forgive Student Loan Debt for HBCU Graduates

Kamala Harris Promises to Forgive Student Loan Debt for HBCU Graduates

Harris promises to offer free tuition for low-income students at public and historically Black colleges Democratic VP candidate also pledges to forgive student-loan debt for HBCU graduates who earn ...more
Will Moss • 69,231 Views • September 10th, 2020
Black Billionaire Robert F. Smith to  Donate $50 Million to Support STEM Students at HBCUs

Black Billionaire Robert F. Smith to Donate $50 Million to Support STEM Students at HBCUs

The Student Freedom Initiative announced today a $50 million personal gift from Robert F. Smith, philanthropist and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. This gift matches the initial fu ...more
Will Moss • 68,805 Views • October 22nd, 2020
Please Give Us a Like on Facebook!