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Ole Miss plans research in space

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(WMC-TV) – You could say Ole Miss' research is "out of this world".

Most people would not consider Mars and Earth to be very similar… but according to Ole Miss researchers, both planets hold secrets that could create a new food chain and help protect our crops.

"We are sending up seeds into space and they will be growing on the International Space Station," said Ole Miss Dean of Graduate School Dr. John Kiss.

More specifically, this will be taking place on a laboratory on board the space station where experiments will be conducted on space gardening. They are looking to see how different stressers, like gravity and light, affect plant growth.

They are experiments that could not only one day allow for edible and useable crops on the moon and Mars, but they could also teach us how to work with changing situations here on earth.

"NASA is very interested in this because long term is has implications for growing plants and green houses on the moon and Mars," said Dr. Kiss.

For many, the science is beyond comprehension, but the cool factor is obvious.

The first phase of the four-part experiment is set for launch and execution on the space station in March 2013. The next three launches are set for later in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

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