This NASA Experiment Shows Promise for Farm-Fresh Foods in Space

Space.com | 5/22/2019 | Elizabeth Howell
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On long space voyages, food variety will be key.

A new NASA experiment called Veg-PONDS 02, which astronauts just ran on the International Space Station, offers a chance to attain that variety. While the experiment used a food already grown in space — romaine lettuce — future crops could include tomatoes or other plants, NASA officials said in a statement.

Food - Experiments - International - Space - Station

Past food experiments on the International Space Station used seed bags (also called pillows) that receive water from syringes, which astronauts push into the bags. While this water is enough for lettuce to grow, tomatoes and similar crops use more water. So NASA initiated a 21-day test, which ended May 16 — one that may eventually give space station astronauts more fresh food to eat.

Related: Astronauts Harvest 3 Different Crops with Space Gardening Tech

Method - Cultivate - Romaine - Lettuce - Seeds

The new method lets astronauts cultivate romaine lettuce seeds in 12 passive orbital nutrient delivery systems (PONDS). PONDS units are less expensive than the seed bags and can hold more water, while providing more room for roots to grow. Another advantage of PONDS is that it uses less power, meaning that electricity...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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