NASA Launching a Vegetable Farm in Space


Under beams of ultra-violet light, these lettuce plants will grow and (hopefully) be edible for scientists as the crops make their way around the Earth.

First we sent a man to the moon, then we sent a robot rover to Mars, so obviously the next step is to cultivate a mini-farm in outer space. NASA will be collaborating with the private space shuttle company SpaceX to launch a capsule with a plant growth chamber called “Veggie” in it, where astronauts will be growing and cultivating red lettuce.

"Veggie will provide a new resource for U.S. astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station," said Gioia Massa, NASA payload scientist for Veggie, in a press release. "Determining food safety is one of our primary goals for this validation test."

With this experiment, scientists are attempting to see how well plants grow in orbit since no one knows what the lettuce grown in orbit will look or taste like. Cherry blossom seeds that were brought back from a satellite orbiting the Earth were planted and grew six years faster than normal, and produced less petals than the mother tree.


Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi