NASA Is Growing Lettuce in Space

By Mike Pomranz |

© Jacom Stephens / Getty Images

In case you thought life on the International Space Station was one giant party, here’s a news flash: Sometimes there’s work to be done… like watering the plants.

NASA recently provided an update on their “VEGGIE” hardware, a system the space agency is testing on the ISS that can grow vegetables and other plants in space. They even released a photo of some lettuce, though based on how small this year’s crop is looking, I wouldn’t start pining for a space-grown salad anytime soon. The project has obvious ramifications for growing plants in zero gravity, but NASA also hopes it can benefit farmers here on Earth by helping to design systems that use water and other resources more efficiently.

According to NASA, “VEGGIE provides lighting and nutrient supply for plants in the form of a low-cost growth chamber and planting ‘pillows’—helping provide nutrients for the root system. It supports a variety of plant species that can be cultivated for educational outreach, fresh food and even recreation for crew members on long-duration missions.” Am I wrong in thinking that growing plants for the “recreation for crew members” hints at some sort of forthcoming smokable space dope? You know, everything is legal in space. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how that works.

NASA also mentioned that watering duties had recently been passed from astronaut Scott Kelly to Kjell Lindgren; however, no images were provided of their futuristic watering can.

 [h/t Grub Street]

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