astronauts grow salad greens, eat fresh food in space, a nasa first

Astronaut cuisine has always been plain, and it mainly consisted of freeze-dried foods.

But times change, and astronauts decided that they needed to level up their meal prep game.

They chose to tend a freshly grown vegetable garden that is ready to be taking off on the next space trip.

Space Salad

The astronauts aboard the International Space Station shared their excitement over Twitter.

The astronaut Kjell Lindgren tweeted:

“Fun watching these (salad greens) grow. Almost sad to eat them tomorrow. Almost.”

They were about to taste their first freshly prepared salad off-planet. Believe it or not – their next day’s menu would include veggies grown on board!

Tending Lettuce

Lindgren and the rest of the crew for weeks had tended a patch of Outredgeous red romaine lettuce. Even though this was not the first crop cultivated in space, this time they were finally going to get to eat it.

Scott Kelly decided to capture the moment by sharing a picture on Twitter.

The leaves were lurking behind him in the picture he took. Moreover, their fresh lettuce was put within a transparent box immersed in magenta light.

Plants In Space

NASA and many other space agencies have experimented with plants in space for decades. But instead of eating, the results were always sent to earth for further examination.

Furthermore, half of that week’s crop was meant to be withheld from the astronauts’ salad bowl and sent back to earth.

The latest results of ongoing experiments in zero-gravity gardening are always important and up to date.

Space Farming Is Real

However, NASA‘s intentions with space farming go beyond the need to feed a few astronauts within the cramped confines of the International Space Station.

The Veggie Plant Growth System that produced the lettuce for the astronauts’ salad is aeroponic. It is designed to cultivate vegetation in an air or mist environment without soil.

Additionally, NASA explained that even plants on earth that are grown this way mature up to three times faster than those grown in soil. Also, they require far less water and fertilizer.

Fun Facts

Certainly, a fascinating thing about these plants is the fact that they’re less prone to diseases. And because they’re sealed safely away from the world of bugs, they never need pesticides.

On-board gardening surely gives astronauts something fun to do during long missions or between their systems checks, spacewalks, and other standard tasks.

And of course – there is no doubt that the salad they made tasted extraterrestrial!