Earth soil was sent into space for the first time

On September 29, earth soil was sent to the International Space Station to grow plants for the first time. Up until this point, plants have been growing in non-soil media, from hydroponic systems to clay-based formulas, Modern Farmer reports. Three different types of soil were sent up including a sample from a German soil biologist, a sample made with biochar, and some plain old soil dug up from around Ithaca, New York. There is much to learn, as soil is a highly complex ecosystem with a wealth of biodiversity, including fungi and bacteria. The researchers hope studying soil in space will unlock insight for farmers and scientists to use here on Earth.

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