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Plants in space

Grab your spacesuit, pop on your headphones and get ready to lift off with a NASA astronaut and other experts to explore plants in space.

Longer space missions and sustaining human life on other planets depends on space horticulture. So, in 2008 Dr Peter Cuneo and other scientists from the Australian PlantBank gave NASA astronaut Dr Gregory Chamitoff seeds from some iconic Australian species to take to the International Space Station for a microgravity experiment.

Hit play and find out what happened! Along the way Greg will also share some incredible stories about what it takes to be an astronaut and live in space. You'll also hear from Dr Yosephine Gumulya, a biotechnologist from CSIRO who is researching ways to genetically engineer microbes to mine minerals from asteroids. 

Seeds from iconic Australian species such as the Golden Wattle, NSW Waratah, Flannel Flower and Wollemi Pine packaged up and ready to go to space. 
NASA astronaut Dr Gregory Chamitoff took the seeds from the Australian Plantbank to the International Space Station for six months in 2008. 
When Greg returned, the seeds from space and the control batch of seeds that remained on Earth were germinated to see if microgravity had any effect. 
Formed from raw materials left behind during the formation of the Solar System, asteroids have a range of compositions. Metallic asteroids are the most valuable, containing billions of tons of nickel iron and other metals.
Dr Yosephine Gumulya is a biotechnologist from CSIRO who is researching how to genetically engineer microbes from Earth to mine minerals from asteroids in space. 

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