As the home of Sir Isaac Newton and the birthplace to the discovery of gravitational theory, Woolsthorpe Manor has forged its place in human history and scientific breakthroughs. Now, to add to an already impressive resume, the Lincolnshire manor is now home to unique 'space saplings' - apple seeds taken to space by the astronaut, Major Tim Peake.
As part of a project by the UK Space Agency, the National Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, the seeds spent 6 months floating in microgravity as part of the ‘Pips in Space’ project and then landed back on Earth in 2016 to be nurtured into young trees.
Whilst this achievement demonstrates how humans are now able to take small pieces of nature to space, the next progression of development would be to sustain natural life cycles in space.
As the founder of Asgardia - the first space nation - Dr Igor Ashurbeyli has commented on how eventual human habitation in space will rely on creating a home from home, encompassing much of the home comforts that human enjoy on Earth.
"This milestone inspires me to no end. We have proven to ourselves as a species that we have the capabilities to take such a tiny piece of nature into space, and return it to Earth to flourish. Now, as we look forward to establishing communities in space, we must discover ways to sustain simple pleasures from Earth, to survive in new environments.
When we launch our Space Arks in the next quarter of a century, Asgardia want to create homes that are recognisable for our residents. It is also essential for human wellbeing that natural vegetation can flourish. The ability to house natural fruits and plants are essential to our designs for life. We have focused on the development of artificial gravity primarily for our ambition of delivering the first human birth in space. Nonetheless, artificial gravity will be of paramount importance to creating natural environments too."
If you would be interested in finding out more about Asgardia's ambition to create communities in space, please do not hesitate to contact me.