This is possibly the coolest development in fly & dining news in the past year, if not the past century. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have now grown and eaten lettuce in space. Say goodbye to Astronaut Ice Cream (just kidding — never say goodbye to that chalky goodness), because now we can grow food in the great expanses of the universe. Check out the video here:
The astronauts used the Veggie hardware system to grow the plants using a mixture of multi-hued LED lights to grow the plants from seeds stored in pillows. The goal is to be able to grow food on other planets like Mars, which can’t sustain the same type of vegetation growth that Earth can.
Why is this exciting? If you have to ask, you must not think much of our interplanetary possibilities. Having the ability to grow food in space opens up myriad opportunities for sustaining life well beyond our current situation (which, sadly, seems to be unsustainable due to climate change). On top of that, it could mean the ability to grow fresh food in places that are inhospitable to organic matter. Think deserts and ocean islands. Achieving the capacity to grow fresh food without the traditional elements of sunlight, minerals, and oxygen changes our entire planet’s food supply. Hydroponic growth has been doing this on the ground for years, but growing food completely in space means that food can now be grown anywhere. That’s amazing.
The astronauts ate lettuce in a spaceship this week. The planet could survive for additional eons as a result. Well done, NASA.
Read the full story over at NASA here.