A Progress M1 cargo ship is starting for the international space station from Kazakhstan's Baikonur tomorrow to deliver a Lada conservatory of Russian design and manufacture for experimental orbital farming.
The Russian station part has never before had a conservatory, says Margarita Levinskikh, senior researcher of the Moscow-based Institute of Medical and Biological Studies.
The Mir station had a conservatory, and similar botanical experiments were made before it was disorbited last year, with two wheat generations harvested in weightlessness, though work with rice, peas and salad was a failure. Upcoming tests will focus on vegetables of the kind eaten raw to make a welcome addition to pilots' diet in long flights-Martian expeditions, for instance.
Russia will complete the operation of the Soyuz booster rocket already in 2019. It goes about the booster, which Russia currently uses for manned space flights to the International Space Station