Sep 22 2015

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Corn doesn’t do well in space

From SpaceWeather.com:

SPACE CORN FAILS TO APPETIZE: Regular readers of Spaceweather.com know that we have been flying simple life forms to the edge of space onboard helium balloons to test their response to space weather. Some fare better than others. Yeast, for instance, is incredibly tough. The microbes easily survive temperatures as low as -60 C and cosmic ray dose rates 100x Earth-normal. Corn, on the other hand, appears to be more fragile. In the spring of 2015, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched seed packets of corn and other vegetables to the stratosphere during geomagnetic storms. Bruce Binion bought some of these seeds as a gift for his father, a veteran farmer, who planted them alongside regular corn as an experiment. Here are the results:

“I must say this experience has been quite fascinating,” reports Binion. “Compared to regular corn, the ‘space corn’ stalks were quite short, tasseled out quite early, and the ears were stunted. As can be seen in the picture, above, Dad has a normal, good-eating ear from the same garden area shown for reference beside a couple of ears grown from your space seeds.”

In summary, cosmic rays do not seem to agree with corn. Sorry, astronauts!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/09/22/corn-doesnt-do-well-in-space/

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