Jon Rask Preparing for 100th Anniversary of South Pole Discovery
Jon Rask, a 2001 graduate of the Department of Space Studies, is currently spending three months at the South Pole. His main task at there is operating a food growth changer to produce food for the winter crews. He works in a hydroponic greenhouse that is internal to the station. He is responsible for ensuring that the greenhouse if full of plant life for the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the South Pole on December 14. He is also exploring the greenhouse as an analog facility for Lunar and Mars missions. He is planning to gather data from emergent seedlings to see if they exhibit circumnutation (a circular motion common to many seedlings.) Circumnutation has been studied before on the ground and on orbit but has not been studied at the axis of a planet’s rotation. On February 15he will return to Ames Research Center where he is a senior scientist.