10/27/2023–|Last Updated: 10/27/202310:07 AM (Makkah Time)
As global space agencies plan missions to the Moon and Mars, one of the biggest challenges is finding a way to feed crew members for the weeks, months and even years they spend in space.
Astronauts on the International Space Station primarily eat packaged meals, which require regular resupply and can deteriorate in quality and nutrition, as well as being too expensive to ship. Researchers are exploring the idea of crews growing their own food during the mission. Overcoming some of the problems of space farming.
Rajkumar Hassamani, of the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology at the University of Agricultural Sciences in India, told Al Jazeera Net in an emailed statement that according to NASA, “it costs between 20 and 20 to send a kilogram of packaged food to the International Space Station. 40 thousand dollars.” Each crew would need 1.8 kilograms per day (including packing materials), and since the International Space Station is about 400 kilometers from Earth’s surface, one can now imagine the cost and difficulty of sending packed food. To the Moon and Mars.”
Hosamani added, “According to an estimate, a crew of 4 would need 10 to 12 thousand kg of food for a 3-year journey, which is logistically impossible and not economically viable. Therefore, food production inside a ship “is necessary for long-duration space exploration missions in space or on the surface of a planet.”
Two main challenges
For food to be produced in space, there are two main challenges: creating a robust and effective ecosystem that supports plant growth, and optimizing crops to adapt to a controlled environment that can adjust plant metabolism. To meet the wide and changing needs.
The first challenge includes some of the physical constraints that dominate space travel and planetary surfaces, so it’s important to consider energy, water, light, temperature, atmospheric control, waste reduction strategies, cost, etc., he explains. Creating habitats that support plant growth.
“These are engineering problems that we’ve been very successful in supporting plant growth in space,” says Hassamani. “For example, NASA’s Fiji Vegetable Production System project currently on the International Space Station is a testament to that.”
The vegetable production system program, whose mission is to provide astronauts with a self-sufficient and sustainable food source, and a means of recreation and relaxation through therapeutic gardens.
A major concern on which research groups around the world are currently working is the physiological limitations associated with the second challenge, which may be encountered during space missions or on planetary surfaces. Research revolves around these limitations, for example:
High levels of carbon dioxide, and the need to design a solution to withstand those high levels.
Areas of local oxygen depletion are steeper, resulting in an oxygenated state. Can we develop plants that can efficiently combat low oxygen levels?
Is it possible to improve plant structure, create a less intensive form, so multiple layers can be stacked in a smaller space?
DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction are widespread in the case of spaceflight.
Extensive remodeling of the cell wall and changes in the composition and structure of polysaccharides directly affect the digestive health of astronauts.Could we engineer high-fiber plants for astronauts?
Loss of taste, texture, flavor and taste of food. Menu boredom is a common problem among astronauts. How to reduce menu boredom?
Many minerals and phytochemicals are lost in space, so how can we collect these minerals, phytochemicals and micronutrients in the plant itself to support the nutritional needs of astronauts?
“Our lab and others around the world will address these questions, and we hope that biotechnology, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering tools will help us answer them and design plants for space agriculture,” says Hassamani.
Food and other reasons
For his part, Javier Medina, who leads the research team at the Margarita Salas Center for Biological Research in Spain, talked about the many benefits of space farming beyond food support for astronauts.
In a statement via email to Al Jazeera Net, Medina said, “Plants can play an important role primarily as high-quality food, as they provide astronauts with many essential nutrients, providing fresh food instead of freeze-dried packages. “Also, by providing oxygen and moisture, the waste products of human life. “Plants also contribute to other aspects of life support by removing carbon dioxide,” they now consume.
To facilitate space agriculture to achieve these objectives, Medina participated in a series of experiments aboard the International Space Station to study the effects of the absence of gravity (zero gravity or microgravity) on plant growth and development and to investigate plant adaptation mechanisms. The space environment helps plants grow in this space.
“Gravity is an essential environmental factor for plants because it determines the direction of plant growth. Specifically, gravity causes roots to grow downward (toward the soil, where they take up water and mineral salts), and stems to grow upward (toward the sunlight needed for the metabolic process.” It’s called the gravitational response, and it’s suppressed under zero gravity, whereas plants can survive and thrive in the microgravity spaceflight environment.”
He adds, “Microgravity has adverse effects on plant development, such as an imbalance in cell growth and reproduction in roots or a significant reprogramming of gene expression, with some genes repressed and others activated. The ability of plants to survive and complete their life cycle under microgravity is the ability of plants to adapt to this new A major research challenge is to identify environmental cues such as light that can offset the negative effects of microbial gravity, thus facilitating adaptation. Plant”.
Red light activation
The NASA/ESA “Seedling Growth” research project, in which Medina participated and consisted of a series of spaceflight experiments aboard the International Space Station (2013-2018), demonstrated the positive effect of red light activation on the resulting stress response. Space travel..
Various cellular and molecular markers of the plants were compared in microgravity, lunar and Mars gravity conditions, and Earth gravity, with or without red light stimulation. The researchers found that red light restores the balance between cell proliferation and root growth. In precise whole-plant development, gene expression changes revealed different adaptive responses to different levels of gravity, including regulatory changes of various genes, and in all cases, they appeared to be modulated by red light activation.
“The bottom line is that lunar gravity can have very severe effects on spaceflight, but Martian gravity showed a more modest change than microgravity, and in all cases, the adaptive response was enhanced by red light photostimulation,” says Medina.
The research could lead to providing new food for astronauts on missions to the Moon and Mars, but such research is seen by some as “luxurious” and of no practical value, the two researchers deny.
“Space research generates the most important income related to human life on Earth, which contributes to improving our daily lives on our planet,” Medina says. Arises from space research and benefited medical progress.” “Aimed to fight diseases through space experiments, including age-related diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular and immune changes, and especially dealing with plant biology and agriculture.”
Also, “Space research has produced great advances in our knowledge of plant response to various types of stressors, and in plant breeding practices, in the search for more efficient and sustainable agriculture. Applying these advances on Earth is critical in our current environment. Climate change, we must change our models to use… Human food plants on earth.
Hossamani focuses on translating the results of space agriculture research into direct applications in terrestrial agriculture, and limits them to the following points:
Space agriculture research can help develop technologies that benefit the concept of a circular agricultural economy, as resource waste can be minimal or zero, and this has direct implications for conservation agriculture on Earth.
Space breeding is another application that comes directly from space agriculture research, and China has a dedicated space breeding program to help develop better varieties with higher yields, disease resistance, etc.
Breeding speed is another byproduct that helps plant breeders develop better varieties faster, reducing the time needed to breed new varieties.
NASA is currently in the early stages of developing the LunaNet, an Internet network on the Moon that goes beyond exchanging information between astronauts in space and people on Earth. The agency plans to build a vast infrastructure around the moon to connect everything from a human habitation, a new space station, and a lunar network service.
“All the cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots on Earth today, and the things that provide network connectivity, have changed the way we work in our daily lives,” says Dave Israel, principal investigator for NASA’s Goddard Space Program. Aviation center. What we want to do today is make this experience available to astronauts and robotic missions to the Moon, and then extend it to Mars and wherever we go.
But it is not without challenges; Because data transmission between the Earth and the Moon is not easy, especially since the South Pole of the Moon and its distance does not directly face the Earth. Transportation is another obstacle because there are not many trips to the moon, which means it may take a long time to transport lunar internet equipment. We await several upcoming launches, the first of which will be the manned “Artemis 2” mission in 2024, which will include tests of lunar communication technology. However, the researcher does not expect this technology to be fully ready and operational by the end of this decade.
On Earth we use satellites that have been in orbit for years to connect to the network. Companies such as SpaceX, OneWeb and Amazon are currently building networks of thousands of satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide fast service from space. In turn, the International Space Station also has its own connection to the Internet, unlike the Moon.
Kelly Larson, CEO of Aquarian Space, a startup focused on lunar communications, explains, “The data rates customers currently receive on the moon are not a connection, but a battle for connectivity.”
To improve the service, NASA plans to launch lunar satellites that will communicate with each other and then connect to communications infrastructure on Earth. In the case of the lunar south pole, a remote area that NASA hopes astronauts will eventually reach, switching between spacecraft is considered a viable solution. The company also intends to deploy a fleet of ground stations that will play the role of cell towers on the lunar surface.
Private companies play an important role in building new Internet infrastructure. Aquarien Space, for example, plans to launch the first group of lunar communications satellites in the second quarter of 2025, and hopes that its technology will finally succeed in delivering 100 megabits per second without interference to the lunar surface. NASA is also collaborating with Nokia to build a cellular network for the Moon using fourth-generation technology. Nokia won a $14 million contract from the company, and its first platforms and radio equipment are set to launch to the moon next year on a SpaceX rocket.
In turn, the European Space Agency is working on a parallel project called “Moonlight,” which is based on contracting companies to build lunar communications infrastructure.
These plans to speed up the use of Internet connectivity on the Moon are aimed at securing basic logistics. As the number of human and robotic observers on the lunar surface increases,
The need for communication networks to help determine directions, such as the popular GPS technology on Earth, will increase. The “Luna Net” project could help in monitoring astronauts’ health and lunar weather conditions, as well as organizing activities on the lunar surface and in its orbit.
Xiaomi 13 Pro… Huge storage space, stable performance and sleek design! The price and specifications of the device in Saudi Arabia is one of the most important topics that lovers of all things new in the world of smart phones are looking for, as Xiaomi’s new phone has been released and let’s know its price. And below are the specifications.
Xiaomi 13 Pro PriceDevice in Saudi Arabia
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The Redmi Note 13 Pro is Xiaomi’s latest addition to the smartphone market, and it’s considered a bestseller, as it offers specs ranging from its design and screen to its performance, camera capabilities, battery life, and more that appeal to many people. Currently in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it will reach… 4400 Saudi Riyals for the 512 GB version with 12 GB RAM.
Xiaomi 13 Pro Specifications in Saudi Arabia
While talking about Xiaomi 13 Pro price in Saudi Arabia, let us know about the specifications of the device which are as follows:
1- The design and build quality of the Redmi Note 13 Pro
With an elegant design that combines beauty and durability.
Made from premium materials, this phone is not only stylish but designed to withstand daily use.
Its dimensions of 161.2 mm in length and 74.3 mm in width are comfortable to hold and use at a thickness of 8 mm.
The phone is capable of maintaining a weight of 187 grams.
The device is available in 4 colors: Blue, Black, White and Purple.
2- Redmi Note 13 Pro screen
smile AMOLED The 6.67-inch display delivers vibrant colors and exceptional clarity.
It supports 120Hz refresh rate.
Resolution: 1220 x 2712 pixels (1.5K).
The pixel density is 446 pixels per inch.
Screen brightness up to 1800 nits.
Glass provides Gorilla Glass Victus Protection against scratches and small drops.
to support Dolby Vision and +HDR10 and an eye protection system to reduce blue light emissions.
3- Redmi 13 Pro performance and memory
It is powered by an app Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2. Built on a 4nm manufacturing process, the octa-core processor ensures exceptional performance.
The CPU has four high-performance cores with a frequency of 2.40 GHz and four energy-saving cores with a frequency of 1.95 GHz.
Graphics are processed by the GPU Adreno 710It offers smooth graphics and supports a range of games and applications.
OS Android 13It is the latest version of the operating system Android.
Available in multiple RAM and storage configurations of 8GB, 12GB, or 16GB RAM and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB internal storage..
4- Redmi 13 Pro Camera
The rear camera setup consists of three lenses.
High resolution sensor from Samsung (HP3) It ensures exceptional detail and clarity in your images.
200-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization technology (OIS) and lens aperture F/1.7.
8MP wide-angle camera with punch hole F/2.2.
Cameras offer a wide range of photography options.
Support for features like digital zoom, geo-tagging, touch focus and face detection.
Supports video recording in 4 resolutionsK 30 frames per second.
Digital stabilization technologyEIS)
2MP macro camera for close-up photography.
Features Xiaomi 13 Pro
The phone has many advantages, which are mentioned in the following points:
The rear cameras offer excellent performance.
The external speakers come with stereo sound and provide a unique audio experience.
120-watt fast charging, and the charger comes in the box, 50-watt wireless charging and 10-watt wireless charging.
Supports shooting videos in 8G qualityK.
You will get the most powerful performance experience with the leading app Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 .
Latest Android 13 operating system with Xiaomi’s latest interface MIUI 14 .
Excellent curved edge screen with 120 refresh rateHertz And that’s good.
Certified water and dust resistant IP68 .
Xiaomi is working to become the leader in the Middle East and the world in the field of manufacturing mobile phones in a unique way, conquering the Arab and European markets with more unique versions.
Scientists revealed that Mercury’s North Pole A new study by the Institute for Planetary Research suggests that life may exist within the salty glaciers hidden beneath the surface of an uninhabitable planet, which may have the right conditions to support some type of alien.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, researchers say that despite the harsh conditions, there are similar regions on Earth.
Dr. Alexis Rodriguez, principal investigator of the study, said: “This thought leads us to consider the possibility that beneath the surface of Mercury there are regions more suitable for life than its hard surface.”
Using images from NASA’s MESSENGER probe, the researchers studied the geology of Mercury’s north pole, where researchers found evidence that salt glaciers may have flowed through the planet’s Raditladi and Eminescu craters.
But these glaciers are not like the ones we know on Earth, and instead of ice, Mercury’s glaciers are made of salts that trap volatile compounds like water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
When Mercury collided with space rocks, craters blasted through the basalt rock’s outer layer, allowing these volatile compounds to escape from Earth and form glaciers. As the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury reaches temperatures of 806 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius). ) during the day, meaning that these volatile chemicals have evaporated.
However, scientists were able to locate the glaciers by looking for recognizable features of the Earth.
Dr Rodrigues said: “Our models strongly confirm that salt flow could have formed these glaciers and that they retained their volatiles for more than a billion years after emplacement.”
Mercury may have a large layer of salt beneath its surface, hidden from the Sun’s intense heat and rich in volatile compounds that could support life.
Dr. Rodriguez points out that similar habitats are capable of supporting life on Earth, “The salt compounds identified on Earth create a habitable environment even in some extreme environments, such as the arid Atacama Desert in Chile.”