Vegetables are farmed in the field, that’s the natural thing. But what would be your reaction if you hear that vegetables are going to be farmed in space? Yes, you heard me right. NASA is planning to farm lettuce plants in space!
Astronaut Don Pettit has successfully grown a Zucchini while staying at the space station. Growing such plant in space has inspired NASA to give it a try to farm vegetables in space. So NASA’s Vegetable Production System (VEGGIE) program will send astronauts in the International Space Station (ISS) to grow six romaine lettuce plants. After 28 days growing under pink LED lights, the plants will be ready to harvest. But the astronauts won’t be allowed to eat the crops. Rather the first harvest will be sent back to Earth for testing. The vegetables will be inspected for bacteria and cleanliness.
If NASA becomes successful in farming lettuce in space, then vegetables such as radishes and snap peas could be the next to be grown in space. NASA hasn’t said anything how NASA plans to grow and manage more complicated crops. But NASA is advancing research that tending to a garden will help astronauts cope with the isolation of space.