The plant-based lifestyle is growing in popularity, and you may be able to soon order a salad in space! NASA has begun experimenting with growing vegetables on the International Space Station (ISS). The experiment is called the Vegetable Production System (“Veggie” for short) and is a plant growing unit that can be deployed on the ISS allowing the astronauts to grow their own organic vegetables.
NASA explained, “”Veggie is a new investigation with ‘edible results’ on the space station. Veggie is a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops to provide the crew with appetising, nutritious and safe fresh food.” The low-cost plant growth chamber uses red, blue and green LEDs for plant growth and crew observation. “The plant growth chamber may help expand in-orbit food production capabilities in more ways than one, and offer astronauts something they don’t take for granted, fresh food,” says NASA.
The plant-growing system provides lighting and nutrient delivery and utilizes the cabin environment as a source of carbon dioxide and temperature control. Gioia Massa, NASA payload scientist for Veggie, says, “Veggie will provide a new resource for US astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station.”
This surely has to be better for the brave astronauts than their typical freeze-dried fare. Space salads for everyone!
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