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Space & Astronomy

Astronauts grow edible vegetables on ISS

By T.K. Randall
February 2, 2014 · Comment icon 13 comments

Food grown in space could be vital for future missions to Mars. Image Credit: NASA/KSC
Russian scientists have revealed that food grown aboard the space station is entirely safe to eat.
Astronauts have been growing vegetables on the International Space Station for some time in an effort to determine how viable it would be to do so on a long-haul manned mission to Mars or beyond.

According to Russian researcher Margarita Levinskikh, the crew have been successful in harvesting peas, dwarf wheat and other greens grown entirely in the weightless environment of space. Tests conducted on the crop have also indicated that all the vegetables are fit for human consumption.
The experiment is particularly important because the peas used seeds from previous generations of peas that had also been grown in space. Even five generations down the line, the newly grown peas were no different than they would have been had they been grown on the Earth.

Levinskikh has revealed that the next step will be to grow rice, bell peppers and tomatoes.

Source: The Register | Comments (13)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by GreenmansGod 10 years ago
I bet fresh veggies is very welcome on the spacestation.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 10 years ago
next thing you know, there will be space animal farms, and after that space McDonalds! "Would you like some space fries with that?"
Comment icon #6 Posted by moonshadow60 10 years ago
I suspect food replication can't be far in the future, but fresh vegetables is a very healthy step in the right direction.
Comment icon #7 Posted by seeder 10 years ago
erm, haven't they been growing stuff for years on the ISS? Heres a story from 2010 on same http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/10-074.html
Comment icon #8 Posted by toast 10 years ago
erm, haven't they been growing stuff for years on the ISS? Heres a story from 2010 on same http://www.nasa.gov/...rch/10-074.html Yes, one of the key experiments was the WAICO experiment conducted in the BIOLAB experiment module onboard the ESA COLUMBUS ISS1 module. The plant seeds were placed in a translucent jelly and the whole stuff was capsuled in special designed little metal containers. The samples were lifted up to the ISS during the STS122 mission on 07FEB2008 and returned for analysis in Germany on 20FEB2008. As I was involved in the "3rd row" I had the chance that time to talk with t... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by KhanDo Sensi 10 years ago
I think uintill we find a very cheap way to get in orbit, space cultivations belongs in the far future...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 years ago
I think uintill we find a very cheap way to get in orbit, space cultivations belongs in the far future... Clearly not, as the original article proves. This is not about large scale farming to send back to Earth, it is about providing fresh food for long duration crews (on missions to Mars for example). Launch costs have little to do with it, keeping the crew fed and health does. Besides whilst launch costs are high it makes sense to grow food in space. Once the hydroponic systems are set up it becomes much cheaper to launch seeds than the grown food.
Comment icon #11 Posted by toast 10 years ago
I think uintill we find a very cheap way to get in orbit, space cultivations belongs in the far future... Knowledge about the lyrics is mandatory to join the chorus.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Emin 10 years ago
Good good, space farming; now we're getting somewhere with this whole space thing.
Comment icon #13 Posted by DONTEATUS 10 years ago
We Indeed have plenty of fertilizer down here on planet earth ! Its actually getting quite deep !


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