Tampa Bay area students send experiments to International Space Station | Space

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Three experiments concocted by Tampa Bay area middle schoolers are headed to space during Thursday’s resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Experiments from Hillsborough and Sarasota county students were selected to travel to the ISS as part of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education’s Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

Randall Middle School in Lithia is sending two experiments to the space station studying microgreens, which NASA has identified as a promising source of nutrition for astronauts. Microgreens are the vegetables and herbs already eaten on Earth, but harvested as young seedlings.

-Lithia middle school students to send experiment to International Space Station

Randall Middle School students prepare to send their experiment to the International Space Station. (WFLA)

“I like solving problems and I like plants so these two things together is kind of like a dream come true,” seventh grader Nathan Bohra told WFLA’s Amanda Holly last month.

Students aim to see how quickly a “Red Garnet” amaranth will sprout in space and if it will keep its nutritional value as it grows. The young researchers believe “it is the ideal plant to take on long-duration expeditions in space” and has the potential to “contribute significantly to astronaut diets in long-duration space missions into the Moon and Mars,” according to the mission website.

The school is also sending up a second, similar experiment testing how sesame microgreens perform in microgravity.

Like the Hillsborough County students, middle schoolers at Pine View School for the Gifted in Osprey hope their research will benefit those living in space. Their experiment investigates how the microalga Chlorella vulgaris will remove nitrogen and phosphorous from…

read more www.wfla.com

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