NASA is going to begin growing vegetables in space

vegetablesThe Vegetable Production System (or Veggie for short), is a new program that NASA is undertaking where they will begin to cultivate vegetables for consumption in outer space. As much as we have accomplished in space, this is a first.

Veggie is a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops to provide the space crew with a palatable, nutritious, and safe source of fresh food and a tool to support relaxation and recreation. Veggie provides lighting and nutrient delivery, but utilizes the cabin environment for temperature control and as a source of carbon dioxide to promote growth.

A larger concern is the space borne microbes that may develop during growth, so the veggies will undergo an extensive testing regimen before astronauts chow down. If the program is successful, it could be easily scaled up to provide a lasting supplement to the ISS food supply.