21Dec2016

NASA Successfully Grows Lettuce in Space

For the first time, NASA has successfully grown and harvested fresh greens in space. Astronaut Shane Kimbrough began nurturing six romaine lettuce seedlings aboard the International Space Station on October 25,.

On December 2, he enjoyed the first fruits of his labor as a “mid-afternoon snack.” The grow is part of NASA’s “Veggie” experiment, which acknowledges that “future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food, so understanding how plants respond to microgravity is an important step toward that goal.”

“Testing this method on-orbit, after using it on the ground, is very exciting for us,” said NASA’s Veggie project manager Nicole Dufour. “A repetitive harvest allows us to provide more food for both the crew and for science, so it’s a win-win. We are looking forward to hearing how Shane enjoys his first harvest!”

Most of this and the remaining planned harvests will be consumed by NASA crew aboard the station, but some of it will be used as science samples. Sustainable food sources are a key for the future of interplanetary colonization, making this first crop of space salad an important step forward.  Source: IGN

 

 

 IGN

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