Growing plants on Kepler: What nutrients do plants need to grow

Our experiment examines what quantities of different nutrients will be essential for the hydroponic growth of plants, looking at what nutrients will be necessary to bring to the planet to assure plant growths.


Plants with higher levels of primary macronutrients will grow more and survive better than those without primary macronutrients.


Since our journey  will end on Kepler where we will find a soil which is unknown to us, we cannot be sure if it will hold the same nutrients than our soil on earth.

Plants on earth need certain nutrients in different amounts for growth and survival. These nutrients distinguished between non material and material nutrients. Non material nutrients are Hydrogen, Oxygen and Carbon. The material nutrients are divided into groups, micronutrients, and macronutrients. Macronutrients are divided into different groups, Primary macronutrients, and secondary macronutrients. Primary Nutrients are used by the plants in large amount, therefore they are missing from the soil first. These nutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Secondary Macronutrients are usually abundant in the soil, and there is enough for plants growth. The three secondary macronutrients are Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulphur. Micronutrients are essential for the plants growth, however are only needed in very small quantities, therefore named Micronutrients. Micronutrients are boron, copper, iron, chloride, manganese, molybdenum, zinc.


  • Independent variable: Solution of nutrients
  • Dependent variable: rate of growth
  • Controlled variable: temperature, light intensity,  amount of water, amount of nutrients,  amount of cotton, amount of crass seeds


  • Petri dish
  • Distilled water
  • Fertilizer
    • Nitrogen,Phosphorus Pentoxide,Potassium
    • Sulphate, Ammoniacal Nitrogen
    • Superphosphate, Phosphorus
  • Beaker
  • Wooden stick
  • Cotton


  1. Place equal amount of cotton in 4 petri dishes
  2. Place 10 cress seeds in each petri dish.
  3. Place 0.2 gram/0.2ml of Sulphate, Potassium Oxide powder into beaker.
  4. Fill the beaker with distilled water
  5. mix the substance together till they are dissolved
  6. Poor the solution into the petri dish and label it
  7. Place the petri dish into a sunny place
  8. Repeat step 3-7 for each substance
    1. Nitrogen,Phosphorus Pentoxide,Potassium 0.2ml
    2. Sulphate, Ammoniacal Nitrogen 0.2gram
    3. Superphosphate, Phosphorus 0.2gram
  9. Wait for the seeds to spurt.
  10. Measure the length of the root.


The Crass seeds did not spurt, and there was no significant change visible.


Since there was no spurt of the crass seeds it leads to the conclusion, that the method of the experiment is not faulty. Therefore it is needed to approach the hypothesis  in a different way and with a method which is more fitted to the growth of the crass seeds. And idea would be to change the rooting medium from cotton to and more soil like medium. All in all, it can be said that we need to research further into the topic to get any result, so that we can make sure to supply our pioneers on Kepler 62e with food.


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