Australian Science & Mathematics School
Experimental Name & Overview
Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 students
The cultivation of Ganoderma lucidum in a micro-gravity environment for medicinal purposes
The aim of the mission is to observe the growing patterns exhibited by Ganoderma lucidum in a microgravity environment. By observing these behaviours, we hope to evaluate the possibility of utilising the mushroom as a crop upon the International Space Station and future missions, for both food and medicinal purposes, and record the observations for future endeavours in the field of astrobiology. The experiment plan is to utilise Ganoderma lucidum due to their versatility in their growth and medicinal purposes for nutrient supplements. They are able to grow in harsher conditions when compared to other crops and can grow in controlled amounts depending on the amount of substrate and heat available to the mycelium. We predict that the design of the payload we intend to create will allow the Ganoderma lucidum to grow in an environment similar to that of Earth with the exception of the presence of microgravity. On the initial space experiment, the mushroom will not be able to be harvested. However, if successful, it would allow for the team to design a stable, self-maintaining and reproducing crop for astronauts upon the International Space Station. These mushrooms would be easily harvested through this device, and will be supplied to the astronauts as a nutritional and medicinal supplement.
ResearchSat, University of Adelaide