Israeli Chickpea Seeds Heading to International Space Station in a “Miniature Greenhouse”

Later this month, Israeli chickpea seeds will be included in Northrop Grumman’s service mission to the International Space Station (ISS), along with other supplies and equipment. They will be contained in a “miniature greenhouse,” designed to ensure their optimal growth in space. This “space hummus” mission— a collaborative effort of Israeli and American scientists and institutions—is just one part of a series of experiments aimed at growing crops in space colonies:

NASA said it is looking at ways to provide astronauts with nutrients in a long-lasting, easily absorbed form, such as through freshly grown fruits and vegetables; the challenge is how to do that in a closed environment without sunlight or earth’s gravity.

Scientists will conduct experiments on the ISS using special LEDs to see how well plant growth can be controlled, remotely observing and controlling root growth through video and still images. The goal is to maximize productivity and allow efficient management of resources on future space colonies on the moon and Mars.

The team believes that perfecting techniques for control—part of a field called synthetic biology—could be essential to growing crops in a space station or on the moon and other planets.

The experiments . . .will receive assistance from Yeruham Science Center high-school students and be performed in part by the Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Israeli agriculture, Israeli technology, Science, Space exploration

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism