2014 Volume 12 Issue ists29 Pages Tp_1-Tp_5
The “Space Seeds for Asian Future (SSAF)” program is one of the activities of the “Kibo-ABC” initiative under the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). The program intends to promote understanding, and to give regional space agencies experience in the utilization of the Japanese Experiment Module, “Kibo”, of the International Space Station (ISS). It also aims to provide young people in the Asia-Pacific region with opportunities to learn about leading edge sciences through their participations in experiments under peculiar space conditions, including microgravity. Students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the SSAF2010-2011 program. As part of this program seeds from each of these nations were flown to the ISS and kept in the Kibo Module. These seeds were then returned to Earth where they were germinated and compared to control seed not flown in space. This experiment involved researchers, students and the general public. In the SSAF2013 program, there are plans to cultivate seeds indigenous to Asia in the Kibo/ISS facilities. The plan is to send Azuki bean (Vigna angularis) to Kibo, and observe the growth of their seedlings under dark conditions. Members of the Kibo-ABC initiative are collaborating in the preparation of the seed germination testing procedures, following which many people, including children, students and researchers, are expected to participate in the program.