The International Space Station astronauts are going to make history once again. For the first time ever in the existence of the International Space Station, the astronauts be feasting on food that they themselves have grown while inside the space station. The historic event on the International Space Station will take place on August 10, 2015. United States astronaut, Scott Kelly, tweeted about the menu on Monday.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) August 9, 2015
Not all of the vegetables will be consumed by the astronauts orbiting the Earth. The plan is that only half of the vegetables will be consumed while the rest will be sent from the International Space Station to Earth and run them through a series of experiments. The experiments will be important in order to determine how vegetables vary when grown on Earth compared to grown in space. Some plants that were grown in 2014 had been sent back to NASA to ensure that they are safe for human consumption. According to NASA, the astronauts on the International Space Station were given the thumbs up by NASA.
The vegetables on the International Space Station were grown in the greenhouse named Lada. The greenhouse has been part of the ISS since 2002. The mission was to study how plant growth is impacted in the condition of microgravity.
Growing the vegetables was not as easy as it is on Earth. Astronaut Scott Kelly planted lettuce in early July and harvested the crop a month later. Lada required the astronauts on the space station to use a different growth medium, called Veggie. In order to get the plants to grow they are bombarded with red and blue LED light and they use what they call a pre-made seed “pillow.”
The space vegetable project is important to the growth and future of NASA missions. According to NASA, pre-packaged food only lasts for a maximum of three years. If food can be grown while on the mission then the astronauts can become self-sufficient in regards to their food. This would allow manned missions to go out farther into space. NASA also thinks that it is a nice way for the astronauts to always have part of the Earth with them, no matter where they are in the cosmos.
If you were an astronaut on the International Space Station would you eat the veggies?
[Image via NASA/Gioia Massa]