NASA is presently searching for ways to provide astronauts with the necessary nutrients in a long-lasting, easily consumable form. The best way to do so is with freshly grown fruits and vegetables. Although it seems simple enough, the challenge is to figure out how to do it in a sealed environment without sunlight or gravity. Various experiments have been performed to see if plants can grow away from Earth. However, as of last week, a new investigation has begun to observe if growing veggies would be a feasible option.
According to a NASA blog post, Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins started harvesting radishes and mizuna greens at the ISS. And these plants were grown without any soil whatsoever. The experiment is part of the XROOTS space gardening research that utilizes hydroponic and aeroponic methods to grow edible plants. If this process is successful long-term, future crews can nourish themselves on spaceflight missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
Formulated by private sector company Sierra Space, NASA’s experimental XROOTS project isn’t yet ready to feed the entire space station. We’re still waiting for a complete culinary analysis of the off-planet veggies. However, since its launch back in February and noticing that there are a few more weeks left on the six-month research, space fanatics are hoping to see any other crops and discoveries the trial might yield. Not to mention the technological likelihoods it could generate in the future.