General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Could we engineer a plant that would grow into outer space?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10819points) April 21st, 2010

A space vine. Could we grow some magical beans like Jack and just climb out of here?

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16 Answers

davids's avatar

I’d assume once it got up high enough it would probably be damaged by the conditions up there?

earthduzt's avatar

If you are talking about out in the vacum…then that would be a no…If you are saying in some sort of space station then yeah you would be able to under the simulated conditions

davids's avatar

@earthduzt I think the question is asking about a plant/vine that could grow from Earth into outer space rather than one that grows in space or in a space station.

ragingloli's avatar

Plants breath oxygen too, in addition to the CO2 they consume. They would suffocate in space, just as humans, as I predict that the amount of oxygen and carbondioxide intake in the lower atmosphere is not nearly enough to supply the spaceborne parts of the plant, not to mention the near impossibility of keeping a plant with a height of several thousand kilometres from collapsing under its own mass.

earthduzt's avatar

@david ahh lol..well in that case I still doubt it would be able to get up there as @ragingloli just pointed out

Zen_Again's avatar

I know a plant that came from outer space. He prefers blood, and bugs the hell out of Seymour.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

That’s a new idea,,,, to create an interstellar tree house space station ! A gigantic tree reaching into outer space with a space station perched on top !

Ltryptophan's avatar

Well, lets assume we could engineer away the structure problem….Maybe we could make it planning on its death, and remnant structure. Maybe a good idea for a building, rather than space?

Ltryptophan's avatar

Maybe in the future we can plant our houses?

earthduzt's avatar

They are though planning to make a cable based “space elevator” to the upper atmosphere that would be alot less expensive than sending a rocket up there whenever they needed to.

ragingloli's avatar

@earthduzt
Yes, but that idea hinges on the development and mass production of ultralight, super strong carbon nanotubes. Wood just does not cut it.

earthduzt's avatar

@ragingloli yeah, didn’t think wood would be used to make such a structure, but I hope they do that then a theme park takes the idea and runs with it..making some huge coasters or drops. Or maybe we could eventually have dome houses with simulated atmospheres and live in the upper atmosphere.

gemiwing's avatar

I think a better chance would be had with bacteria, rather than a plant. Still, the vacuum is a bit of a problem.

Blackberry's avatar

What? No lol.

iam2smart99037's avatar

I think its conceivable. The plant’s stem/trunk could house its respirating cells and its photosynthetic cells could be in the portion that protrudes into the vacuum. I have no clue if this is biologically possible but it sounds good in my mind :)

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. For example using an approach like

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroponics

Gravity is an issue. We could use rotating wheel space stations for example.

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