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Microgravity effects on water supply and substrate properties in porous matrix root support systemsThe control of water content and water movement in granular substrate-based plant root systems in microgravity is a complex problem. Improper water and oxygen delivery to plant roots has delayed studies of the effects of microgravity on plant development and the use of plants in physical and mental life support systems. Our international effort (USA, Russia and Bulgaria) has upgraded the plant growth facilities on the Mir Orbital Station (OS) and used them to study the full life cycle of plants. The Bulgarian-Russian-developed Svet Space Greenhouse (SG) system was upgraded on the Mir OS in 1996. The US developed Gas Exchange Measurement System (GEMS) greatly extends the range of environmental parameters monitored. The Svet-GEMS complex was used to grow a fully developed wheat crop during 1996. The growth rate and development of these plants compared well with earth grown plants indicating that the root zone water and oxygen stresses that have limited plant development in previous long-duration experiments have been overcome. However, management of the root environment during this experiment involved several significant changes in control settings as the relationship between the water delivery system, water status sensors, and the substrate changed during the growth cycles. c 2001 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Bingham, G. E. (Utah State University Logan, UT, United States)
Jones, S. B.
Or, D.
Podolski, I. G.
Levinskikh, M. A.
Sytchov, V. N.
Ivanova, T.
Kostov, P.
Sapunova, S.
Dandolov, I.
Bubenheim, D. B.
Jahns, G.
Campbell, W. F.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Acta astronautica
Volume: 47
Issue: 11
ISSN: 0094-5765
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Life Support Systems
Flight Experiment
long duration
Mir Project
Non-NASA Center