Let’s face it: astronauts are enduring harsh conditions in order to perform their duty. I’m not talking only about the solitude of being in space for months and the hazardous situations they face every day, but also about what they eat and how they keep their body in great shape. As you may know, there is not much room for fresh food in space and usual meals include dehydrated macaroni, cheese and eggs, processed foods and dehydrated fruits. Now, NASA announced that they are experimenting with a new type of greenhouse that will allow astronauts to grow their own veggies at hundreds of miles away from our planet.
Last year in September, the Internet was flooded with articles about a NASA project called VEGGIE that allows the astronauts to grow real vegetables in space. Six month later, we witness Veg-01, the first VEGGIE experiment that is carried to the International Space Station with the periodic resupply mission. We’ll have to let some time pass by in order to find out if the growth chamber really works and how it influences the life of astronauts.
Using new technology, scientists managed to create a small-scale greenhouse that allows the growth of peas, Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard, lettuce and radishes. If this experiment works, it represents an important step towards the future of agriculture. Its applications are unlimited, and without going to far into the future and talking about the colonization of other planets (like Mars), we could use the principle that make VEGGIE work and apply them right here, on our planet. This way, we will be able to grow various plants in areas like Sahara where desert is getting larger every year.
image source: NASA.gov