Space Wheat! | Buzz Blog

Space Wheat!

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My new hero is Russian Col. Maksim Surayev, who is currently serving onboard the ISS. Or, in other words: The man lives in space!!!

Most of us growing up in the '70s had starry-eyed visions of spending adulthood in orbit -- only to have our hopes dashed by a dreary parade of attitude adjustments and economic downturns. But Sruayev really is living that 21st-century dream. ---

I've been woefully out-of-touch regarding the Russian space program, so I've only just discovered his blog. Since I can't read Russian, I'm glad that an English translation of Surayev's blog is hosted at rt.com (a really entertaining news site in many respects).

Surayev has finally succeeded in raising a crop of wheat, and is justifiably excited. (Previous experiments had disastrous results since wheat, having evolved on Earth, evidently prefers to grow under Earth-like conditions.)

The wheat has managed to grow, and it's great!

It took long enough to dry and it has almost reached the lamp. And now, finally, mission control has ordered it cut, packed and refrigerated. I'll take it to Earth with me. Scientists there will have their turn at it.

They are surprised themselves about how it managed to have grown into ears. They tried to do it several times and only got, as the scientists describe, "seedless monsters".

With some regret I've cut my wheat... After all, it has been with me at the station for nearly five months.

The upswing is that, while we dirtsiders squabble over oil and climate change and economics and health care, there are elevated folks like Surayev, orbiting the planet, quietly tending their wheat.

I want to be more like Surayev.

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