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One Small Step for Agriculture? Scientists Grow Plants in Moon Soil for the First Time
From Matt Damon’s Mars potatoes in The Martian to the valuable space-grain that Tribbles were so fond of in the second season of Star Trek, science fiction has given us no shortage of opportunities to watch plants grow in space over the years. In fact, the lead horticulturist for NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) has said that she was first inspired by Star Trek: The Next Generation ’s Geordi La Forge. Nonetheless, the exact interaction between lunar materials and Earth’s terrestrial biology (specifically, experiments that determined whether plants could actually grow in the powdery gray soil that covers the surface of the moon) has eluded scientists so far — until now.
For the first time in human history, researchers from the University of Florida have successfully grown plants in moon soil — technically referred to as “lunar regolith” — from seed to sprout. Results from the NASA-funded study were published in Communications Biology on May 12, and they provide considerable insight into the future of interstellar agriculture.
A Meticulous Experiment
This particular lunar regolith was originally collected by Apollo missions 11, 12 and 17. The catch? They only had about 12 grams of it to work with, so each critical step of the project had to execute flawlessly in order to complete the experiment.
Researchers first divided the lunar soil into 12 separate plastic plates typically used for cell cultures. Then, they carefully moistened the soil with a nutrient solution before adding a sprinkle of seeds from the Arabidopsis plant, a small flowering weed native to Eurasia and Africa. To create the experiment’s control group, seeds were also planted in soil that simulated extreme environments on Mars and Earth, as well as a terrestrial substance made from volcanic ash that mimics authentic lunar soil.
“After two days, they started to sprout!” said Anna-Lisa Paul, professor in Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida and lead author on the paper, in a press release . “Everything sprouted. I can’t tell you how astonished we were! Every plant — whether in a lunar sample or in a control — looked the same up until about day six.”
As the experiment progressed, the researchers found that the authentic lunar soil plants were developing more slowly. Many showed signs of severe stress, similar to those indicating adverse reactions to salt, metal and reactive oxygen species. Although the plants indicated that they found the lunar soil environment stressful, the few tiny sprouts have proven that lunar soil wouldn’t interrupt the signals involved in plant growth.
Gardening in Space Is No Easy Feat
The idea of growing plants in space isn’t exactly new — astronauts from the Soviet space program spent more than a decade proving they could cultivate seeds in microgravity. The effort finally paid off in 1982, when they harvested roughly 200 Arabidopsis seeds from a greenhouse module on the Salyut 7 space station, taking them back to Earth where they were able to germinate and produce healthy plants. When American astrophysicist Michael Foale stayed on Russia’s Mir space station in 1997, he was able to germinate seeds of Brassica rapa — commonly known as mizuna — also bringing them back to Earth to develop into viable plants.
Since then, NASA has continued the study of plant growth in microgravity on the ISS. The Vegetable Production System, a space garden known as “Veggie” that’s about the size of a carry-on piece of luggage and holds up to six plants, successfully cultivated pak choi and mustard greens in 2021 . Later that year, astronauts threw a taco party after harvesting red and green Hatch chilies using the same system.
The Veggie system works by protecting plants in a “pillow” filled with clay-based growth medium and fertilizer. These special bags help distribute water, nutrients and air around the roots, which would otherwise suffocate due to the way fluids in space form bubbles. Another ISS growth chamber, the Advanced Plant Habitat, uses LED lights and controlled-release fertilizer in an automated enclosure, complete with cameras and over 180 different sensors that connect directly to a team on the ground at Kennedy Space Center.
Moon Farming Has a Future
Necessary nutrients, like vitamins K, C and D, break down over time in the freeze-dried food traditionally consumed in space. Growing healthy produce in micro- or zero-gravity provides a solution to vitamin or nutrient deficiencies among astronauts while reducing reliance on freeze-dried and prepackaged meals (after all, all it took to give sailors scurvy was a lack of vitamin C). Plus, investing in space agriculture now may come in handy for the next generation of explorers, should humans end up colonizing other planets or lose existing landscapes for healthy crops on Earth due to extreme weather events.
It’s not just about providing astronauts with fresh produce on missions that may last months or years at a time, but also about their mental health. NASA’s Human Research Program is currently studying how space gardening affects astronauts’ moods and whether it can help them cope with isolation or enhance their connection to Earth while stationed between the stars. So far, no one involved in the study has viewed their work with plants in space as anything but advantageous.
There are still several variables that need addressing when it comes to the moon soil experiment, such as whether or not the location where the soil was collected would have an effect on how the plants respond to it. The study also indicated that plants grown in younger moon soil showed more minor signs of stress than those grown in mature soil, which is exposed to more cosmic wind and solar rays on the moon’s surface.
One thing is certain: The experiment offers a far better understanding of cultivating plants for food and oxygen for extended stays on the moon and future space missions than we had before. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, seeing as NASA’s Artemis Program plans to return humans to the moon and build a basecamp on the surface by 2024. The research may also help identify more sustainable farming techniques for our own planet’s uncertain future.
“This research is critical to NASA’s long-term human exploration goals as we’ll need to use resources found on the Moon and Mars to develop food sources for future astronauts living and operating in deep space,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This fundamental plant growth research is also a key example of how NASA is working to unlock agricultural innovations that could help us understand how plants might overcome stressful conditions in food-scarce areas here on Earth.”
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Narissa and Ramdha about to experience the Admonition
Before the Attack on Mars in 2385 , Narissa was part of the same group of Zhat Vash to experience the Admonition on Aia as her aunt , Ramdha . This group was overseen by Commodore Oh , a Vulcan /Romulan hybrid who had infiltrated Starfleet . Together, they formed the Conclave of Eight to plan an attack on Mars to manipulate the Federation into banning the creation of artificial lifeforms . ( PIC : " Broken Pieces ")
In 2399 , she underwent temporary surgical alteration to pose as a human and assumed the identity of Oh's personal aide, Lieutenant Rizzo. From this position, she directed efforts by the Zhat Vash to apprehend Dahj Asha on Earth as part of an effort to obtain information on the whereabouts of several existing biological androids .
The first attempt, in Boston , resulted in the death of Dahj's boyfriend and the deaths of the operatives involved; the second, in San Francisco , witnessed by retired admiral Jean-Luc Picard , resulted in Dahj's death. Oh chastised Narissa for making "a shambles" of these operations on Earth, and in no uncertain terms stated that the lives of Narissa and her best agent were on the line for any more failures with the Zhat Vash mission. ( PIC : " Remembrance ", " Maps and Legends ")
Narissa then focused on Dahj's twin Soji , serving as her younger brother Narek 's handler as he infiltrated the Romulan Reclamation Site . She had given approval for Narek's approach of building a relationship with Soji as a means to acquire information, but after Oh's reprimand expressed impatience at his slow pace of uncovering useful intelligence. Contacting him by hologram , she stated that she was concerned for his well-being, but with their lives at risk, her self-preservation would come first. ( PIC : " Maps and Legends ") She warned Narek against coming to love Soji, saying it would threaten their mission. ( PIC : " The End is the Beginning ")
After Seven of Nine began to reactivate the Artifact , Narissa began jettisoning Borg drones into space after murdering a large number of reclaimed xBs . She was eventually overwhelmed by the xBs and sought refuge elsewhere in the Borg cube. ( PIC : " Broken Pieces ")
After the Artifact arrived at Coppelius , where it later crash landed , Narissa briefly encountered her brother, Narek. She bade him well on his task and let him go off on his own, before later confronting Seven of Nine in hand to hand combat, where Seven eventually knocked Narissa into a chasm within the cube, claiming that this fate was what she deserved for having killed Hugh . ( PIC : " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 ")
- 1 Memorable quotes
- 2.1 Appearances
- 2.2 Background information
Memorable quotes [ ]
Something far worse is coming, centurion… if I fail in my work.
Have you entertained for even a moment, that she might be the one handling you?
Appendices [ ]
Appearances [ ].
- " Maps and Legends "
- " The End is the Beginning "
- " Absolute Candor "
- " The Impossible Box "
- " Nepenthe "
- " Broken Pieces "
- " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 "
Background information [ ]
Narissa was played by Peyton List .
- 1 Nick Locarno
- 2 Sito Jaxa
- 3 Old Friends, New Planets (episode)
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She was portrayed by Peyton List , who also portrayed Poison Ivy in Gotham , Lucy Lane in Smallville , and Lisa Snart/Golden Glider in The Flash .
An agent of the Zhat Vash , her actual name is unknown. Rizzo is the identity she used when she infiltrated the Federation Starfleet in the late 24th century. Rizzo grew up in a family that included a deceased brother, another brother named Narek , and an Aunt named Ramdha.
In 2385 Rizzo traveled with her Aunt Ramdha and a group of other Zhat Vash initiates to the planet Aia. There the Zhat Vash leader Oh had them participate in the Admonition, a message the Zhat Vash believed to be a warning to never allow synthetic lifeforms develop. The Admonition was actually an ancient message from a group of synthetic life forms to other synthetic lifeforms that might follow, but was such that organic brains could not handle the stream of information. With the exception of her Aunt, all the other initiates committed suicide upon seeing the message, leaving only Rizzo standing and coherent.
Following her experience with the Admonition, Rizzo helped Oh reprogram the synths working on Mars to carry out a devastating attack on Mars. In the aftermath the Federation banned synthetic life forms. Like Oh, Rizzo also infiltrated Starfleet in the guise of a young human female, using the Rizzo identity. By 2399 she held the rank of Lieutenant in Starfleet.
After finding a biological android named Dajh Asha, Rizzo sent a team to kill the young android. The operation did not go as planned, with the strike team being killed and Dajh being activated. Dajh went to Jean-Luc Picard for assistance but was killed by Zhat Vash operatives a short time later. Oh chastised Rizzo for botching the operation to kill Dajh.
Learning that Narek had found Dajh's twin sister Soji working on a derelict Borg cube known as the Artifact, Rizzo abandoned her cover identity and traveled to the cube to oversee Narek's attempts to find out where Soji came from. She was critical of his attempts to seduce the information out of Soji, and felt that he was being manipulated by her.
After Soji learned the truth of who she was, Narek and Rizzo attempted to kill her but she escaped with Picard. Rizzo set about murdering many of the ex-Borgs in order to get the project director Hugh to reveal where he had sent Picard and Soji. Rizzo later murdered Hugh.
Rizzo disguised as a human.
When the Borg cube was reactivated by Seven of Nine Rizzo ordered the Borg drones flushed out into open space, killing nearly all of them. She survived when the Artifact crashed on Soji's homeworld of Coppelius. Confronting Seven of Nine, Rizzo fought with her. Seven gained the upper hand and pushed her off a ledge to her death, claiming the act was for her friend Hugh.
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Peyton list’s star trek: picard romulan villain explained.
In Star Trek: Picard season 1, Mad Men's Peyton List played Narissa, a Romulan agent who also infiltrated Starfleet and posed as Lieutenant Rizzo.
- Star Trek: Picard season 1 introduced a new cast and focused on a dense mystery involving a Romulan conspiracy and a new robotic threat.
- Peyton List played Colonel Narissa, a member of the Zhat Vash, a fanatical sect of the Romulan Tal Shiar secret police.
- The Zhat Vash story was dropped from seasons 2 and 3, leading to unresolved questions about Narissa's brother and the Romulans' status. Peyton List's roles remain memorable.
Star Trek: Picard season 1 introduced a new cast including Peyton List, who played the Romulan villain Narissa. Set in 2399, nearly 15 years after Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) gave up command of the USS Enterprise-E, Picard season 1 brought Jean-Luc back to space on a new mission to save the galaxy. But this time, instead of his loyal crew from the USS Enterprise-D and E, Picard was surrounded by a new, motley crew of misfits pitted against an insidious Romulan conspiracy.
Showrunner Michael Chabon crafted an intricate Romulan backstory for S tar Trek: Picard season 1 centering on a never-before-heard-of sect of Tal Shiar fanatics plotting to wipe out artificial lifeforms in the United Federation of Planets. Picard season 1's plot was kicked off by the murder of Dahj Asha (Isa Briones), who turned out to be a human-like synthetic android built from the positronic remains of the late Commander Data (Brent Spiner). Weaving in the Romulans' history with the Borg and a new robotic threat from beyond the galaxy, Picard season 1's plot was a dense mystery with the Romulan Narissa and her colleagues at the center.
Peyton List’s Romulan Villain Narissa Explained
In Star Trek: Picard season 1, Peyton List played Colonel Narissa, who also doubled as Starfleet Lieutenant Rizzo. Narissa was a member of the Zhat Vash, a fanatical sect of the Romulan Tal Shiar secret police that harbors an irrational hatred of artificial life forms. In 2385, Narissa was part of the Conclave of Eight, led by General Nadar (Tamlyn Tomita), who also infiltrated Starfleet as Commodore Oh, becoming the head of Starfleet Security. As Lt. Rizzo, Narissa oversaw Dahj's murder, and she sent her brother, Narek (Harry Treadaway) to the Borg Cube Artifact to learn the location of Coppelius, the synthetics' homeworld, from Dahj's twin sister, Soji Asha (Isa Briones). Narissa murdered Hugh (Jonathan del Arco) and was ultimately killed by Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) in Picard season 1's finale .
Peyton List (not to be confused with Peyton Roi List, who plays Tory Nichols on Cobra Kai ) is an American actress best known for playing Jane Siegel, the wife of Roger Sterling (John Slattery) on Mad Men . After starting off as a model, List began her acting career as Lucy Montgomery on the CBS soap opera As The World Turns. Lead roles in short-lived science fiction series FlashForward on ABC and T he Tomorrow People on The CW followed, and List also starred in The CW drama Frequency. List had a recurring role in Colony , and she played Poison Ivy in the Batman universe crime drama Gotham on FOX.
Why Star Trek: Picard Dropped Season 1’s Zhat Vash Story
Star Trek: Picard season 1's Romulan Zhat Vash story was completely dropped from seasons 2 and 3. This is due to the departure of showrunner Michael Chabon. Akiva Goldsman and Terry Matalas became the new showrunners and took Picard season 2 in an entirely new direction involving Q (John de Lancie) and time travel, and Terry Matalas reunited the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation for Picard season 3. However, bringing back the TNG icons meant most of Picard 's original cast didn't come back for the final season.
Narissa was killed off at the end of Star Trek: Picard s eason 1 so Peyton List wouldn't have returned for later seasons. But Picard season 1 left unresolved questions , such as what happened to Narissa's brother Narek. The Romulans led by Commodore Oh were also allowed to return to Romulus and their status is unknown. Picard season 1's Zhat Vash story came to a dead stop, although another Michael Chabon creation, the Romulan warrior nuns known as the Qowat Milat, continued on in Star Trek: Discovery . Still, Peyton List's roles as Narissa and Lt. Rizzo remain memorable parts of Star Trek: Picard season 1.
Star Trek: Picard season 1 is streaming on Paramount+.
Star Trek: Picard (2020–2023)
Peyton list: lieutenant narissa rizzo, photos .
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Why Narissa From Star Trek: Picard Looks So Familiar
Every "Star Trek" show features plenty of memorable characters, but few can match " Star Trek: Picard " on that particular front. As the title implies, Patrick Stewart's legendary Jean-Luc Picard is the star attraction, here, but the show features the return of several other franchise favorites, as well. From "Star Trek: The Next Generation" favorites like William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) to "Star Trek: Voyager" breakout Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), all sorts of classic characters turn up for their last (or, at least, latest) hurrah.
The presence of so many "Star Trek" Hall of Famers, of course, means that the forces that oppose Picard must be formidable enough to stand out. One of the more interesting characters on the opposing front is Colonel Narissa, the ruthless Zhat Vash operative and expert infiltrator who causes no end of trouble to everyone on her way. A role like this takes plenty of acting experience and genre savvy, and the actor playing Narissa certainly has both. Here's why she looks so familiar.
Peyton List is Lucy Montgomery in As the World Turns
Peyton List's — who shouldn't be confused with the Peyton List who plays Tory in "Cobra Kai" — first acting credit was "Blonde Girl #1" in a 2000 episode of "Sex and the City," but her acting career truly picked up the next year, when she joined the cast of CBS daytime drama " As the World Turns " as Lucy Montgomery. A longtime character in the show, Lucy is the daughter of Sierra Esteban (Played by Mary Beth Evans during List's tenure with the show) and Craig Montgomery (Hunt Block).
Like several other characters in the long-running show, Lucy has been played by multiple actors. List took over the role from Amanda Seyfried, and was followed in the role by Spencer Grammer and Sarah Glendening. However, List remains the longest-serving Lucy actor. What's more, her tenure coincides with what may very well be the most popular era of the character, due to Lucy's romance with Dusty Donovan (Grayson McCouch) at the time. The pairing of these two characters became so popular that it has its own Wikipedia page.
Peyton List is Nicole Kirby in FlashForward
After leaving the soap opera world behind, Peyton List had major roles in the NBC lottery win drama "Windfall" and ABC's relationship comedy-drama "Big Shots," as well as numerous one-off roles in TV shows like "One Tree Hill" and "CSI." However, in 2009, she started gravitating toward genre fare by joining the all-star cast of ABC's "FlashForward." The "Lost"-style scifi drama centers on a mysterious incident that causes the vast majority of the world's population to simultaneously experience a short blackout, which causes them to see a few months into the future. List's character is Nicole Kirby, a young babysitter whose terrifying "flashforward" shows her seemingly being drowned.
"FlashForward's" stellar cast and intriguing premise made it a potential smash hit, but unfortunately, the show was cancelled after just one season. Still, the experience was hardly a loss for List. After all, she got to work as a part of an ensemble cast that involved names like Joseph Fiennes and Dominic Monaghan ... and soon after the show was over, it became apparent that she was only getting started.
Peyton List is Jane in Mad Men
AMC's " Mad Men " is a masterpiece of period drama, and its very specific vibe requires a lot of style, grace, and dramatic chops from its cast. Imagine the challenge, then, when a role requires the actor to shine even brighter than the rest of the show's impossibly charismatic characters. Peyton List tackled this challenge when she joined the show's cast in Season 2 as Sterling Cooper secretary Jane Siegel, who immediately becomes the hot topic at the workplace ... and, perhaps unsurprisingly, clashes with office manager Joan (Christina Hendricks) on multiple occasions.
In an interview with Baltimore Magazine , List said that playing the role was a great experience, and that many parts of Jane's journey in the show came as a complete surprise to her. "I have an absolute blast," she said. When I came on, I had no idea what would happen to the character. They keep you guessing, even the actors. I had no idea she was going to wind up marrying the boss [Roger Sterling, played by John Slattery]. I remember sitting at that table read and everyone was like, 'What?'"
Peyton List is Cara Coburn in The Tomorrow People
From 2013 to 2014, Peyton List starred opposite Robbie Amell in The CW's "The Tomorrow People," a sci-fi show about young people who have evolved beyond the norms of humanity, and have various psionic superpowers. These "Tomorrow People" have existed in the shadows for years, hunted down by a hostile organization called Ultra. List stars as Cara Coburn, a powerful and high-ranking member of the Tomorrow People.
Jumping from critically acclaimed period drama like "Mad Men" to a fun sci-fi show might be counterintuitive to some, but in an interview with Nerdly , List made clear that the script appealed to her greatly, and that she absolutely loved playing a self-assured character with powers.
"The story is exciting, entertaining and fast paced," List said. "When you're not even a part of the show and you read the script, you get blown away by it. That's how I fell for it. On top of that, I think that any girl would want to play my character. She's strong and she knows herself. She's got super powers and she's a bad ass. How cool is that? I love the character, I love the story and I love this group of people we have working on the show. I really enjoy everything about it, so it's a complete dream job for me."
Judging by the fact that List has appeared in numerous genre shows over the course of her career, it's pretty clear that she wasn't exaggerating her love for sci-fi and superhero fare.
Peyton List is Ivy Pepper in Gotham
Because it mostly focuses on James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is still a few years removed from his costumed crime-fighting years, Fox's "Gotham" is free to play fast and loose with the future Batman's rogues gallery. One of the clearest examples of the show's refusal to adhere to traditional bat-standards is "Gotham's" take on Poison Ivy, Ivy Pepper. Various aging antics mean that the character has no less than three actors over the course of the show: Clare Foley, Maggie Zeha, and as the incarnation that's closest to the classic Poison Ivy character, Peyton List.
List took over the role for the last two seasons of "Gotham," and her portrayal of the character is deadlier than ever. "Dangerous," producers of the show described her version of Ivy (per Deadline ). "A live wire of crazy energy. She'll set her sights on Gotham, intent on making the city her own green paradise."
Interestingly, Ivy isn't the only DC villain List has portrayed. In 2015, she played Captain Cold's (Wentworth Miller) younger sister, Lisa "Golden Glider" Snart, in "The Flash."
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Lieutenant Narissa Rizzo
We don't have a biography for Lieutenant Narissa Rizzo yet. Hang in there, or go ahead and contribute one.
- Episode 1x02: Maps and Legends ( Jan 30, 2020 )
- Episode 1x03: The End Is the Beginning ( Feb 6, 2020 )
- Episode 1x04: Absolute Candor ( Feb 13, 2020 )
- Episode 1x06: The Impossible Box ( Feb 27, 2020 )
- Episode 1x07: Nepenthe ( Mar 5, 2020 )
- Episode 1x08: Broken Pieces ( Mar 12, 2020 )
- Episode 1x10: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 ( Mar 26, 2020 )