The Salad Frontier: Why astronauts need to grow lettuce in space

According to an article at NPR.org, astronauts who spend months on end in space crave fresh salad greens encouraging NASA to embark on a program to get astronauts planting their own vegetable garden called Veg-01 in the International Space Station. The garden is a 1.5-foot-long capsule that glows purple to feed six Outredgeous lettuce plants, a red Romaine variety, under 132 red, 32 green and 32 blue LED lights plus its own heat and air exchange systems. Although the plants were ready for harvest in early June, they were frozen and sent back to Earth to test for E. coli and salmonella to ensure they were safe to eat. However, NASA scientists admit it may be cost prohibitive to grow lettuce in space.

Oscar Sjogren

Real breakthroughs are being made in areas like sustainability, food safety, nutrition and agriculture. And FutureFood 2050—through this website and other media, and in an upcoming film—will keep you connected.

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