What do astronauts eat?

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The challenges of growing plants in space.

Learn about the exciting work taking place in Australia’s space agriculture and what it will look like in the future in this resource for R, Year 4, 5, 7 and 8. STEM students.

Word Count / Video Length: 150 / 22:11 mins

When we move off into the interplanetary expanse, we will still need to be well fed. But food isn’t exactly abundant in space, or on other planets like Mars. The answer? Space crops.

But what are the challenges of growing plants in space? And how could we develop crops to support long-term space habitation?

Cosmos asked Professor Matthew Gilliham, the director of the Waite Research Institute at the University of Adelaide. His research focuses on crop plant nutrition and stress resilience, and he is currently developing programs in space agriculture – including the growth and adaptation of plants to space environments.

This article is republished from Cosmos. You can access the original article here.

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Years: R, 4, 5, 7 and 8


Biological Sciences – Ecosystems, Living Things

Chemical Sciences – Atoms

Earth and Space Sciences – The Solar System, Rocks

Additional: Careers, Technology.

Concepts (South Australia):

Biological Sciences – Interdependence and Ecosystems

Chemical Sciences – Change of Matter

Earth and Space Sciences – The Earth’s Surface, Earth in Space


F, 4-5 & 7-8