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CCSC in conjunction with the UK Space Agency and RHS boldly go where none have gone before, turning four Year 7 pupils into space biologists.

This week marked the launch of our contribution to the national research investigation; Rocket Science.
Rocket Science involves a series of controlled scientific investigations and growing tests of rocket seeds (Eruca sativa, a popular salad variety) that were sent to the International Space Station as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month Principia mission. After several months on board, orbiting the planet at 17,000mph, the seeds were returned to Earth and sent to thousands of UK schools, alongside a batch of seeds of the same cultivar that have stayed on Earth. Over the following 35 days pupils will grow and compare the seeds as they embark on a voyage of discovery to see whether we can sustain human life in space through the production of our own food. The results of the nationwide citizen science experiment will then be analysed to discover whether space travel has impacted on the growth of the seeds.
Our four Space Biologists; Daniel Snape, Katie Morris, Theo Batten and Amy Hoang began the project this week with the preparations for planting on Monday; the planting and labelling on Tuesday of 200 seeds and are well into the monitoring and care side of the project. Our first key monitoring points will be to record germination dates for the sets and % germination at 10 days into the project.
We are happy to announce that already after two days all trays have seeds that have germinated! Speculation is already being discussed as to whether space travel will have had any affect on the seeds.
At the end of the 35 days our data along with that from over 8,000 schools will be uploaded to the national database for analysis. Mr Dunn, Mr Hobson and our four Space Biologists are excited to not only be contributing to a national project but to also be putting forward their contribution to the future colonisation of space and to be actually handling seeds that have been in space!
Please check in over the next few weeks to keep up to date with the progress of the project.
Mr C Dunn (Personal Development Leader, Science Teacher)
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