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Eitan Stiva came to the Faculty of Agriculture to examine plants that could be grown on Mars

Stiva came to study the experiment he will perform in space on behalf of the Hebrew University, the Aerospace Industry, Givat Brenner High School and other partners. The experiment focuses on the control and analysis of crops on the space station under growing conditions of the Martian environment (CCM - agriculture like Mars)

On Thursday (May 27.5), the second Israeli scheduled to fly into space, Eitan Stiva, arrived at the Faculty of Food and Environmental Agriculture of the Hebrew University in Rehovot in order to study the experiment he will perform in space on behalf of the Hebrew University, the Aerospace Industry, Givat Brenner High School and other partners. The experiment, whose plant aspect will be accompanied by Dr. Itai Herman and Prof. Menachem Moshelion from the Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, focuses on the control and analysis of crops on the space station under growing conditions of the Martian environment (HCM - agriculture like Mars) through the engineering of an artificial gravity facility and the production of an Israeli Mars simulation First, "regolith". The experiment will help in understanding the practical requirements for growing plants in a simulated Martian environment in space and its results will contribute to future manned missions to Mars.

The experiment in space will be supported and carried out simultaneously on Earth with the help of a parallel experiment by a team of Givat Brenner regional high school students in a dedicated complex that is assigned to the experiment and will reproduce the conditions of the experiment in space as much as possible. The students are accompanied by a supportive teaching staff, a team of aerospace engineers and physicists from the aerospace industry led by Dr. Tal Feingersh, geologists from the Israel Geological Survey, Ben-Gurion University, engineering students from Ort Rehovot and, of course, agricultural researchers from the Hebrew University.

Eitan Stiva visiting the Faculty of Medicine in Rehovot, May 27, 2021. Photo: Hebrew University spokesperson
Eitan Stiva visiting the Faculty of Medicine in Rehovot, May 27, 2021. Photo: Hebrew University spokesperson

The AI ​​experiment is among the scientific experiments selected by the Ramon Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Technology for the 'Rakia' mission. All the selected experiments will be launched to the International Space Station as part of Axiom Space's Ax1 mission together with the second Israeli in space, Eitan Stiva, in early 2022, and are expected to lead to technological, scientific and medical breakthroughs that will affect the lives of humanity on Earth and beyond.

The first all-private space station crew

Axiom Space's Ax1 mission is the first private mission in history to the International Space Station. The crew commanded by veteran American-Spanish astronaut and Axiom Space Vice President Michael Lopez Alegria, will be the first crew in human history that is entirely private, which will stay and work on the station (subject to crew approval by NASA and its partners on the International Space Station).

Ran Levana, CEO of the Ramon Foundation and head of the 'Rakia' mission said: "An important pillar of the 'Rakia' mission is the continuation of the vision of the late Rona Ramon to combine advanced science with education and inspiration. Educational teams from all over the country will work on the scientific experiments. In our vision, when Eitan performs every experiment in space - children in Israel will watch it live and will be able to perform the same experiment in the classroom at the same time. This is how we will expose the younger generation to the field of science and connect them to what is happening on the International Space Station, which is considered an extraordinary educational resource, which inspires the younger generation."

Eitan Stiva, the second Israeli in space, said: "Research in space is designed to break the limits of human knowledge, from the attempt to solve the unsolved, to decipher the hidden. A sky mission ignited the imagination of so many talented people sitting here today, including young scientists, who are behind the various experiments and activities planned to fill my time in space. The depth of a whole and fascinating world opens up to me, and every day I learn something new - thanks to you."

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