Space Gardens

Gardens in buckets,

Gardens in lace,

Gardens on rooftops …

Gardens in space?

Captain Kirk never dared to dream such succulence.

Nevertheless, it’s not science fiction.

On August 10, astronauts at the International Space Station ate fresh food grown in space for the very first time. In a collapsible and expandable Veggie Unit dubbed Lada, the astronaut gardeners grew a real, live crop of red romaine lettuce out there among the stars, and the taste test was documented in live-stream fashion:

It turns out that growing veggies in space is not as easy as it is on Earth, what with the soil-free and sun-starved spaceship environs. Even so, astronaut Scott Kelly sowed a smattering of lettuce seeds on a fabricated “seed pillow” in early July, illuminated them with multicolored LED lights, and harvested leaves a month later.

Sure, it’s a little avant-garde in the realm of gardening, but it sure beats the Jetson’s Meal-o-Matic fare.

Image courtesy of Mike Licht via Flickr

Driven by more than mere curiosity (and serious cravings for fresh salad), NASA is experimenting with space-grown food in hopes that it might aid astronauts in extended expeditions through the galaxy.

Watch out, Mars, here we come.

Photo by Cmichel67 via Wikimedia Commons

P.S. If you’re “spacing” out and still wondering about the “gardens in lace” mentioned in line two, come back for tomorrow’s post!

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, fascinating! I admire astronaut , Scott Kelly, a great deal. He has a positive go for it attitude about life and it does not surprise me that he could figure out how to grow lettuce in space. Thank-you MaryJane for today’s wonderful morning science moment here at raisinjane!

  2. My late father worked for NASA for years and he would have been thrilled with this experiment! I often had conversations with him about sustainability in space. Basically most of my childhood centered around space and travel in space and the exploration of space. I was fortunate enough to meet some of the astronauts even ! Now that I have a business growing plants ( mostly edible) for seeds this is particularly poignant.

  3. Pingback: Lace Gardens | Raising Jane Journal

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