Have you ever longed to take a trip to space? To float in zero atmosphere amidst the deep dark blackness, with stars gleaming at you like pinpoints in the distance? To see your footprint ingrained in dust on the moon, as you glide across its chalky surface with the grace of Neil Armstrong?
Well, it’s not as common a childhood dream as it used to be. After the Space Race of the 50s and 60s (in which the US and Russia duked it out to see who could reach the moon first) the appetite for space travel dissipated – and so did funding for Nasa.
But the dreams of a space colony on some far flung planet are far from dead – and they’ve increasingly taken an ecological form.
Writing in the Guardian, James Wong has described how Nasa have conducted research into the function of plants in enclosed environments, with the aim of using them as “super-efficient air filters” for space travel.
Just imagine – on long space odysseys the carbon that will invariably accumulate in a space shuttle will be breathed in by plants, creating an environment as clean as a rainforest.
Moreover, plants on a shuttle will improve the mental wellbeing of astronauts, avoiding any Solaris-like episodes of cabin fever. This is considered such an important factor of space travel that China recently opened a “space farm” lab in Beijing, while Nasa pledged to launch their first garden in space by 2016.
A Nasa-influenced office
Air purification is a major benefit of having plants in any situation – and it doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to realise the positive effects they can have on your office.
Your workplace doesn’t have to look like the Amazon, but a well-maintained set of plants will oxygenate it, leading to a happier and healthier workforce.
Even Nasa acknowledge the positive effects that plants have on both the environment and the mental health of people. So invest in a few for your office – it’ll rocket your happiness to the final frontier. website uptime