Gardening On The Moon



Gardening in space! Chinese astronauts may grow fresh vegetables in extraterrestrial bases on Moon or Mars in the future to provide food and oxygen supplies to astronauts, an official said after a successful lab experiment.

Deng Yibing, deputy director of the Beijing-based Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center, said that the recent experiment focused on a dynamic balanced mechanism of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water between people and plants in a closed system.

According to Deng, a cabin of 300 cubic metres was established to provide sustainable supplies of air, water and food for two participants during the experiment, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Four kinds of vegetables were grown, taking in carbon dioxide and providing oxygen for the two people living in the cabin. They could also harvest fresh vegetables for meals, Deng said.

The experiment, the first of its kind in China, is extremely important for the long-term development of the country’s manned space programme, Deng added.

The cabin, a controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) built in 2011, is a model of China’s third generation of astronauts’ life support systems, which is expected to be used in extraterrestrial bases on the Moon or Mars.

The introduction of a CELSS seeks to provide sustainable supplies of air, water and food for astronauts with the help of plants and algae, instead of relying on stocks of such basics deposited on board at the outset of the mission.

Advance forms of CELSS also involve the breeding of animals for meat and using microbes to recycle wastes.

Scientists from Germany also participated in the experiments.

Man Survives Being Impaled with Garden Shears Through Eye Socket

An 86-year-old Arizona man is lucky to have his eyesight — and luckier to be alive — after doctors extracted a pair of pruning shears from his head.

Even the doctors who treated him are amazed at the lack of permanent damage.

Leroy Luetscher was treated at University Medical Center in Tucson, the same center credited with saving Giffords’ life in January. The Arizona congresswoman had been shot in the head by a gunman as she met with constituents outside a supermarket.

Here’s what happened in the latest incident, according to details revealed at a Tuesday news conference and by the hospital:

Luetscher was gardening in the backyard, trimming some plants, when he dropped his pruning shears, point side down. As Luetscher leaned over to grab the shears that had lodged in the dirt, he fell on them, face first. One of the handles shot through his right eye socket and lodged itself in his head.

“I couldn’t believe it. I just could not believe it. I sort of pulled on them -– it seemed real solid — so I just left it alone,” he said during the news conference to discuss the injury.

Luetscher said the searing pain actually helped him keep his wits about him. He said he put a T-shirt over the wound to help stop the bleeding and told his long-time live-in girlfriend to call an ambulance.

Today, the Green Valley resident has swelling to his eyelids, and some double vision, but is otherwise fine. He expressed gratitude to University Medical Center and the team of trauma surgeons and specialists who helped him, including Drs. Julie Wynne, Lynn Polonski and Kay Goshima.

Polonski, an ophthalmologist, said the team made incisions underneath Luetscher’s right upper lip and his sinus wall, allowing medical workers to loosen the handle of the pruning shears with their fingers. “Once we were able to loosen it up, it went fairly easily,” he said.

Doctors rebuilt Luetscher’s orbital floor with metal mesh, and managed to save his eye.

“You wouldn’t believe your eyes,” Wynne said. “Half of the pruning shears was sticking out and the other half was in his head.”

“You just wonder how the handle of the pruning shears got there. The handle was actually resting on the external carotid artery in his neck,” Polonski added. “We are so happy that Mr. Luetscher did not lose his eye or any vital structures.”

Doctors said so many things could have gone wrong — a ruptured eyeball, a severed artery, a fatal infection.

“You know, if it went a little bit in a different direction, it basically could have killed him or he could have had a stroke,” Polonski said.