The Eklosion experiment has arrived aboard the International Space Station. Designed by the students of Toulouse so that Thomas Bisquet maintains the plant’s connection to the earth. The astronaut will grow marigolds.
Of all the experiments that Thomas Pesquet performed on the International Space Station (ISS), “Eklosion” was the most poetic. Inside a transparent capsule will grow an astronaut’s travel companion plush who will have to take care of her, like the little prince of his rose. At the base that Thomas Pesquet will be able to open every two weeks, letters signed by his relatives await him, each containing a capsule of vegetable aroma (rose, violet, mint, anise or pine).
“We wanted to bring a little beauty to the International Space Station and bring Thomas Pesquet closer to Earth”
“With Eklosion, we wanted to bring beauty to the International Space Station and bring Thomas Pesquet closer to Earth thanks to plants. We hope this time spent looking after the flower or just looking at it will give him pleasure,” sums up Eve Tessier, a student in plant biology at the University of Toulouse 3-Poole. – Sabatier, co-founder of Eklo . Association.
Generation ISS Winners
Eklosion was born from the merger of two winning projects in the “Generation ISS” competition organized by Cnes (National Center for Space Studies) (1). Students from the University of Toulouse III-Paul-Sabatier and the Nantes School of Design worked for two years to develop the manipulation of spatial specifications. In particular, it was necessary to find a solution that would save energy (the plant receives light from LEDs) and water (a precious resource on the International Space Station), sterilize the seeds in bleach and alcohol at 90 ° C, and concentrate the substrate. The capsule was designed with teams from CADMOS (Centre for the Development of Microgravity Activities and Space Operations) at the Toulouse Space Center (Cnes).
“It was a dream to work in space. This experience allowed me to develop a research and development project with great precision and requirements. Now that everything is on board, we can’t wait to continue the experiment to take full advantage of it,” says Yves Tessier, who hopes to send Thomas Bisket has regular updates about the plant.
Support for remote exploration missions
According to the European Space Agency (ESA) programme, the French astronaut is scheduled to begin the experiment on August 19 by moistening the substrate on which 5 amaranth seeds are glued. Biweekly observations and photos were planned to follow the development of the plant until Thomas de Pesquet’s departure from the International Space Station in October 2021.
Thomas Pesquet received the last trials prepared for him in Toulouse
Eklosion is one of the ten experiments developed at Cnes in Toulouse for the Alpha mission. With its visual, sensitive and psychological aspects, it is a reflection on accompanying astronauts on long expeditions.
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