For the first time ever, NASA astronauts on the International Space Station will sample space-grown food after harvesting a crop of “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce today, August 10, from a plant-growth greenhouse system called “Veggie.”
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is one of three lucky space travelers who will be eating space-grown salad this morning.
As we continue to journey farther into space, its important for astronauts to have a sustainable and replenishing food source. According to the NASA website,
But how does food grow in zero gravity? The Veggie growth system is collapsible and expandable, and it employs a flat panel light bank that includes red, blue, and green LEDs for plant growth, and so that crew members can see the plants growing.
Dr. Ray Wheeler, who works for the company that developed the Veggie greenhouse, tells NASA,
Astronauts and researchers are also growing flowers in space, and will be observing how the flowers pollinate within a zero gravity state.
You can watch the astronauts on the ISS chow down on their “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce harvest this morning on NASA TV.
In the video below, Paul Zamprelli of Orbitec, the company that developed the Veggie greenhouse, describes the technology that supports plant growth.