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#1 2005-01-27 10:20:25

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Moss

[color=#810541:post_uid4]Shuttle study

*...might have implications for future endeavors on Mars.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid4]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#2 2005-01-27 10:40:00

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,594

Re: Moss

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Had posted like item to the gravity thread in this grouping:

MOSS IN SPACE PROJECT, SHOWS HOW SOME PLANTS GROW WITHOUT GRAVITY

At least some work is being done.

Experiments on moss grown aboard two space shuttle Columbia missions showed that the plants didn't behave as scientists expected them to in the near-absence of gravity.

The common roof moss (Ceratodon purpureus) grew in striking, clockwise spirals, according to Fred Sack, the study's lead investigator and a professor of plant cellular and molecular biology at Ohio State University.
[/quote:post_uid14][/color:post_uid14]

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#3 2005-01-28 08:44:06

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Moss

[color=#000000:post_uid1]Moss doesn't grow in a deformed fashion in zero-gravity, unlike more complex plants. 

Hmm...

Moss is photosynthetic.  Perhaps it can be used for life support?  Are there edible varieties of Moss?[/color:post_uid1]


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#4 2005-01-28 11:14:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,594

Re: Moss

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Not only would it be a first crop to plant for the added O2 that it might provide but it would also get the process for other more edible plants a chance to grow a little more easily.[/color:post_uid14]

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#5 2005-01-28 18:36:31

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Moss

[color=#000000:post_uid4]This is a fascinating study.
    And it has a kind of irony, too. When I was very young (a space nut even at 6 and 7 years of age! ), I remember my mother finding articles about Mars and other planets in the newspaper and helping me to read them. Those were the days when the old paradigm of Mars hadn't yet been laid to rest; it was still thought (hoped?) that Mars' atmosphere consisted of some 85 millibars of nitrogen and that the surface probably supported hardy plant life.
    Some scientists hypothesized that primitive plants similar to [b:post_uid4]mosses[/b:post_uid4] and lichens might be responsible for the seasonal colour changes observed on Mars by telescope!

    Now, of course, we're toying with the idea of finding terrestrial plants, like mosses, which might be able to flourish in zero-g or the low gravity of Mars, a planet far less hospitable than we'd fondly imagined all those years ago.
    How things have changed!  :bars:

    I love a good mystery, so the following section of the article caught my attention:-

"The fascinating question is why would moss have a backup growth response to conditions it has never experienced on earth? Perhaps spirals are a vestigial growth pattern, a pattern that later became masked when moss evolved the ability to respond to gravity."[/quote:post_uid4]
    Maybe moss, being a primitive plant, has retained the genetic instructions of its ancestors for growth in a marine environment, a setting analogous to zero-g (?).
    Just an idle thought.   smile[/color:post_uid4]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#6 2005-01-30 08:42:50

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Moss

[color=#810541:post_uid6]

I love a good mystery, so the following section of the article caught my attention:-

"The fascinating question is why would moss have a backup growth response to conditions it has never experienced on earth? Perhaps spirals are a vestigial growth pattern, a pattern that later became masked when moss evolved the ability to respond to gravity."[/quote:post_uid6]
    Maybe moss, being a primitive plant, has retained the genetic instructions of its ancestors for growth in a marine environment, a setting analogous to zero-g (?).
    Just an idle thought.   smile[/quote:post_uid6]
*Yes, that is quite a mystery.  Wish I could offer a theory or two.  :hm:  I think your "idle thought" (such modesty!) is excellent, Shaun.

--Cindy[/color:post_uid6]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#7 2005-01-30 14:54:10

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Moss

[color=#000000:post_uid12]Ok, did some research...

Saddly, there are only two known species of edible moss (facai moss and harbunia), and those are used only as spices.  Lots of other edible plants like seaweeds and lichens are referred to as "moss", but are not true mosses.  Moss has no food value.

Still, faster-growing varieties could be employed for oxygen generation.[/color:post_uid12]


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#8 2005-01-30 21:00:48

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,594

Re: Moss

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Even if the moss does not need much water, nitrogen and such, It however does need warmth. That make plant section that would grow in mars climate problematic. One thought was to use the lander as if it were the center pole in a very large tent. One might get away with using 3mil plastic sheets to create a chamber to gradually warm. This would also act to capture any heat loss from the ships crew cabin or habitat module with each excursion outside to explore mars.[/color:post_uid14]

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