NASA Gifts Alabama State With Grant to Grow Plants in Space

Alabama State University will be able to use their green thumb out in space after NASA gave an ASU microbiology professor a grant.

Komal Vig,Ph., received a $100,000 NASA grant named “Improved Drought Tolerance of Mustard Greens with Atmospheric Pressure Plasma.” According to the Alabama News Center, the grant will give professor Vig and the student interns the opportunity to prepare mustard greens in a university lab with a goal for them to be grown with little to no water within the arid confines of a space station.

“Our main goal is for ASU to perfect a method in my university laboratory that will allow us to grow drought-resistant mustard greens on the space station,” Vig said.

The professor says the constraint of the plant living with little or no water is for the purpose of a method they are working to perfect.

“With limited or no water being expended to grow the greens, we are perfecting a method to irrigate them with a special plasma that we are now perfecting in my ASU lab with the help from our student interns which is composed of a combination of many things that include the noble gases of argon and helium,” she said.

The project’s purpose is to study drought stress using Amara mustard greens, along with the grants’ purpose of genetic studies to investigate how plasma will work to change the gene profile of a plant.

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