Food for thought: Let's talk Tomatosphere™ with astronaut Thomas Pesquet

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Uploaded on March 21, 2017

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Food for thought: Let's talk Tomatosphere™ with astronaut Thomas Pesquet

2017-03-21 - In this video about the Tomatosphere™ educational project, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet explains the importance of growing fresh fruits and vegetables in space to nourish future travelers embarking on long-duration missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Tomatosphere™ is a blind study in which Canadian and American students in 20, 000 classrooms grow tomato plants stemming from seeds that either travelled to space or stayed on Earth—but the seeds’ history remain a mystery until the end.

Typically, the space-faring tomato seeds spend four weeks aboard the International Space Station.

Tomatosphere™ engages students in real scientific processes that teach and reinforce inquiry skills, while they explore concepts related to plants, space, careers, nutrition and agriculture.

Educators: sign up for Tomatosphere™ and join classrooms nationwide to contribute to the expansion of knowledge for long term space travel!

Tomatosphere™ is sponsored by HeinzSeed, Stokes Seeds, the University of Guelph, Let's Talk Science, First the Seed Foundation and the Canadian Space Agency.

(Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA, ESA, Let's Talk Science)

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Transcript

Hi. I’m Thomas Pesquet. Welcome aboard the International Space Station.My crew and I arrived in a Russian space ship called a Soyuz and it took us two days to get here. I will spend a total of six months in my new home in space.

In the future astronauts will travel to destinations much farther away like Mars for example. Their trips could last two or three years. Before we can travel that far, we need to rise to some important challenges. We need your help. If you were an astronaut heading to Mars, think about some of the things that you would need to stay healthy.

Let’s talk about food. Whether on earth, Mars or the moon, we all know fruits and vegetables but fresh fruit only lasts about a week. We would never be able to carry enough for a three year mission. So we need your help to develop a new skill, space farming. We are already growing lettuce here on the space station but no salad is complete without tomatoes.

Tomatoes are delicious and nutritious. They taste and smell great plus tomato plants could benefit our environment by removing carbon dioxide and adding oxygen and water to the air we breathe. Tomatoes can be a space super food. This is where the Tomatosphere comes in. Will tomatoes grow the same in space as they do on earth? Help us find out. Count how many of your Tomatosphere seeds germinate and send us your results. Who knows? Maybe you will be studying how to grow the food that you will one day eat as an astronaut.

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