Growing Super-Dwarf wheat in Space Station Mir

Life Support Biosph Sci. 1997;4(3-4):155-66.


Super-Dwarf wheat plants were grown in the Russian/Bulgarian growth chamber called Svet (means light in Russian), in Space Station Mir, from August 12 to November 9, 1995 (90 days) and from August 5 to December 6, 1996 (123 days); a second 1996 crop grew from December 6, 1996 to January 14, 1997 (39 days). Environmental monitoring instrumentation was built at Utah State University and added to Svet for the experiments. That instrumentation functioned well in 1995, but four of six lamp sets (two lamps in each set) failed, as did the controller and a fan. Plants stayed alive but were mostly vegetative (contrary to ground controls under equivalent photon flux). New, higher intensity lamps and other equipment functioned well during 1996, and plants grew surprisingly well, producing about 280 heads and considerable biomass, but the heads were all sterile. A strong case can be made that the sterility was caused by high ethylene in the cabin atmosphere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Culture Media
  • Environment, Controlled*
  • Environmental Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Ethylenes / pharmacology
  • Light
  • Lighting
  • Particle Size
  • Research Design
  • Space Flight / instrumentation*
  • Triticum / drug effects
  • Triticum / growth & development*
  • Weightlessness*
  • Zeolites


  • Culture Media
  • Ethylenes
  • Zeolites
  • ethylene