Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
UM-Bot

NASA to grow lettuce in space

21 posts in this topic

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will soon be attempting to grow their own vegetables.

Traditionally any food consumed in space has to be pre-packaged and sent up from the Earth, an arrangement that works fine for astronauts living and working on the space station, but what about on a manned mission to Mars ? On voyages that could take months or even years, carrying enough food to last the whole journey becomes increasingly impractical.

Read More: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/254653/nasa-to-grow-lettuce-in-space

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Amazing....humans are so clever...technology have improved so much in only 50years, imagine what it'll be like in another fifty....

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing....humans are so clever...technology have improved so much in only 50years, imagine what it'll be like in another fifty....

It is amazing, and yep, some humans are pretty clever. Just a shame we will have lettuce in space as well as starving children on Earth. Something just does not sound right to me on the priorities front and (we don`t give a toss of the lettuce about those on Earth) seems to sprout out.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is amazing, and yep, some humans are pretty clever. Just a shame we will have lettuce in space as well as starving children on Earth. Something just does not sound right to me on the priorities front and (we don`t give a toss of the lettuce about those on Earth) seems to sprout out.

True, but the UK, US, Europe send millions in aid every year to developing countries....the question is: where is that money going? Or what's that money used for?

And then there's profit, with big companies preferring to throw away food that hasn't been eaten instead of giving it to the poor. I had that argument many years ago working in one of the top hotels in London, we used to throw away bags and bags of food that could have been given to the homeless that were sleeping rought just around the corner. The manager's answer was simply: we are not a charity, if they want it it's in the bins.

I don't think the moneys spent in space exploration is wasted money, I think it's very important for the future of humankind.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a reminder, this is NOT a topic about international aid. It is a topic about space exploration.

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They learn a lot from what happens in space, so I'm sure this will benefit those on earth eventually.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone else think of the Muppet Show?? "LETTUCE IN SPACE!!!!!!!"

From the UM Homepage article:

"The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) is a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious, and safe source of fresh food and a tool to support relaxation and recreation," the space agency wrote on its website.

***SNIP***

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
drugs references removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spaceberg salad?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spaceberg salad?

Space spinach?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but the UK, US, Europe send millions in aid every year to developing countries....the question is: where is that money going? Or what's that money used for?

And then there's profit, with big companies preferring to throw away food that hasn't been eaten instead of giving it to the poor. I had that argument many years ago working in one of the top hotels in London, we used to throw away bags and bags of food that could have been given to the homeless that were sleeping rought just around the corner. The manager's answer was simply: we are not a charity, if they want it it's in the bins.

I don't think the moneys spent in space exploration is wasted money, I think it's very important for the future of humankind.

I have heard it said that we do not have a production problem: we have a distribution problem. While I can't say whether the few nations that produce a food surplus are enough to feed the hungry in the rest of the world or not, I do believe much of the food we grow is wasted (check any garbage bin outside a super market) and much of the aid we send abroad is often stolen, misused or otherwise does not get to the needy. Sometimes it feeds the despots and warlords who must laugh at us while their people starve. Sometime it just rots in the holds of cargo ships because there is no infrastructure to get it to the people.

Sometime our own national policies affect the poor abroad. When our government mandated use of ethanol in internal combustion engines, corn that used to feed people and animals is now "feeding" our cars, and ethanol by its chemical nature is not good for engines because it contains a certain percentage of water, and water causes corrosion inside the engine, collects as sludge, etcetera. So with one mandate the government has caused the price of corn to rise while shortening the life of our vehicles.

As for growing lettuce in space, how hard can it be? You use water absorbing gel for media and liquid fertilizer to supply nutrients within that gel, and you give them artificial light and plants will grow. Regular 6500K fluorescent bulbs available at Lowes will grow plants like mad, I know because I use them to grow plants in aquaria. I constantly have to trim and discard the excess bio-load. The only wild card is gravity. Plants leaves are phototropic, that is, they grow towards light, but their roots grow towards gravity and this could be a problem in a low gravity environment, especially for crops with tap roots like carrots.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for growing lettuce in space, how hard can it be? You use water absorbing gel for media and liquid fertilizer to supply nutrients within that gel, and you give them artificial light and plants will grow. Regular 6500K fluorescent bulbs available at Lowes will grow plants like mad, I know because I use them to grow plants in aquaria. I constantly have to trim and discard the excess bio-load. The only wild card is gravity. Plants leaves are phototropic, that is, they grow towards light, but their roots grow towards gravity and this could be a problem in a low gravity environment, especially for crops with tap roots like carrots.

A lot more difficult than growing plants on Earth. You point out the issue with gravity, but this is much more problematic than just the direction of growth. Plants use gravity for some of their nutrient transport systems, and esp for the transport of carbohydrates manufactured in the leaves to other parts of the plant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea -- until a satellite large enough to be able to generate spin "gravity" (like the one in the space odyssey 2001) is in place I don't think either humans or other terrestrial life will do well up there long term. Life on the earth evolved for life on the earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think either humans or other terrestrial life will do well up there long term.

This may not necessarily be true in all cases. In a NASA sponsored experiment on board the Russian Mir space station back in 1997 adzuki bean seeds and seedlings grew more in space than the control plants on Earth. Source: HERE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot more difficult than growing plants on Earth. You point out the issue with gravity, but this is much more problematic than just the direction of growth. Plants use gravity for some of their nutrient transport systems, and esp for the transport of carbohydrates manufactured in the leaves to other parts of the plant.

Seems like a rotating drum with lights at the center hub could simulate gravity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like a rotating drum with lights at the center hub could simulate gravity.

That's what I was talking about

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plants use gravity for some of their nutrient transport systems, and esp for the transport of carbohydrates manufactured in the leaves to other parts of the plant.

Which is why such experiments are needed.

Plant growth experiments on board the ISS have shown that plants grow quite well without gravity. Source: HERE.

More on edible crops grown aboard the ISS (from June 2010) HERE.

Seems like a rotating drum with lights at the center hub could simulate gravity.

Such a set-up may not be necessary (see links above).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did they think to bring along salad dressing? Plain lettuce and Tang doesn't work for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gravity is probably not the only factor causing plants to have trouble in space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gravity is probably not the only factor causing plants to have trouble in space.

Well there is the thing, many plants don't seem to have problems growing in space.

One of the biggest issues is designing systems which keep the plants watered without gravity. It is as much a technological issue as it is botanical one.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See when I read the title I imagined bunches of lettuce growing in space space. Like Lettuce orbiting outside the space station or something and the astronauts space walk out to the floating lettuce plants and other vegetables to water them lol

If a plant could grow in space space, if had all the water and nutrients it needed but no gravity would they grow really big and spread out?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See when I read the title I imagined bunches of lettuce growing in space space. Like Lettuce orbiting outside the space station or something and the astronauts space walk out to the floating lettuce plants and other vegetables to water them lol

^^^ LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.