Astronauts on board the International Space Station have sampled their first taste of space-grown “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce grown in the station’s Veggie hardware validation test (Veg-01). This was the first time American astronauts have eaten space-grown vegetables, which have only been recently grown, analyzed, and deemed safe to eat.
The astronauts first cleaned the lettuce with a citric acid-based wipe to ensure the lettuce was safe to eat, and ate half their lettuce crop while the other half will be sent back to Earth for further study.
The technology used to grow the lettuce is important for the future of long-term space travel, and could one day be used to help colonize Mars. It also has applications here on Earth where similar technology can help grow food in harsh climates.
images via NASA