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On this day, 59 years ago, the first manned flight into the near-Earth space was completed. Yuri Gagarin, having made one revolution around the Earth, became the most famous person in the world. He was enthusiastically welcomed in all countries, receptions were held by kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers. Breeders still name new varieties of flowers in honor of Gagarin. Cosmonautics from the pages of science fiction books began to pass into ordinary life. Children dreamed of becoming space explorers, and to come to the New Year’s party in the costume of an astronaut was a joy for the whole year. Rolling hills in the form of a rocket appeared on the playgrounds, circles of young astronauts were created in the houses of pioneers. It seemed to everyone that a little more, and humanity would fly to other planets, begin to explore the deep space. The only problem is air, water and food. Growing green plants aboard a spacecraft could solve two of them.
For these purposes, experiments on growing various plants were carried out at the orbital station created in the 1970s. First, peas, wheat, lettuce, and radishes were grown in special plants. But to bring plants to flowering and to obtain seeds in zero gravity did not work. Space stations replaced each other, work began on the creation of phytotrons with artificial gravity. In such an installation, for the first time in space, the throat-shaped Tal (Arabidopsis thaliana), a fast-growing weed from the Cruciferous family, bloomed and produced seeds. As they say, not all weeds are bad.
Now, when most of the space programs in the world are not in the best condition, and there are a lot of problems on the planet itself, mankind is not going to refuse to conquer far space. How Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in the difficult 20s of the 20th century not only dreamed of space navigation, but also developed projects. Including a device for growing plants. We will be optimistic. After all, which of the Russians could have assumed at the end of the 17th century that at the end of the 19th century pineapples in Russia would be such a widespread greenhouse culture. But this is a completely different story.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
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