Students growing rocket from outer space

Students in our Department of Physics and Astronomy have been growing rocket lettuce from seeds that have been orbiting in space.

The seeds have spent six months with British astronaut Tim Peake as part of a national outreach project by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the UK Space Agency and landed back in Leicester last month.

Half of the 200 seeds growing in a lab here on campus have made the journey to space and back and at the end of the trial the students will submit a number of scientific results for analysis by professional statisticians from the RHS and European Space Agency.

Daniel Robson, a second year Physics and Astronomy student said: “This has been a great opportunity for our student society AstRoSoc to get involved with something exciting related to current space research and exploration and it’s the perfect experiment to fit around our exams.”

Once the results of the experiment have been submitted, the students are planning on artificially pollinating a selection of plants in both groups, and also producing mixtures using the pollen from both sets.