As part of its efforts to figure out how to grow vegetables and plants in space, astronauts aboard the International Space Station have recently resumed testing of the hardware known as “VEGGIE,” which, for now, involves photographing plants and measuring their progress.
“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,” NASA explained in an update on Space Station research. “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.”
Plants that have been or are now being cultivated in space include lettuce, wheat, garlic, cucumbers, parsley, and dill, among others.
Crew members on the ISS will share plant-upkeep duties and continue to measure their progress.
“Knowledge from this investigation could benefit agricultural practices on Earth by designing systems that use valuable resources, such as water, more efficiently,” NASA said of its plants in space.