Sitting out on the deck last night looking for meteorites, we spotted the space station passing over head. What I didn’t know at the time, as the astronauts passed over my garden they might have been tending their own garden. Two of my favorite things are growing vegetables and space exploration – normally worlds that only collide in science fiction, but now for the first official time vegetables have been grown then eaten on the space station.
They dined on a salad made from a red romain lettuce called ‘Outredgeous’ one of the lettuces I grow – the big difference is I don’t have to worry about my soil floating away and no one is telling me to clean the leaves with disinfectant wipes.
To deal with the soil, or in this case growing medium, floating away issue and other space complexities, ‘pillows’ have been designed to house each individual plant which is put under LED lights emitting optimal growing wavelengths in the ‘Veggie’ plant growing system. The first harvest was shipped back to earth to test if it was safe to eat. For round 2 the lettuce was given 33 days to mature before being converted to salad (some was saved for further earth-based testing).
I’m curious what’s next up to be grown on the space station.