It was one small bite for man, but a big leap for the future of food in space as NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station tasted the first crop of red romaine lettuce grown in space Monday.
According to NASA, the leafs—known as experiment Veg-01—were grown using NASA’s developing veggie plant growth system technology that was developed by Orbital Technologies Corp. As the future space food, the agency plans to deploy this technology on future spacecraft and even on other planets. The ability to grow plants and other fresh food will be essential to extending space travel as they will provide astronauts with essential vitamins and minerals needed on longer journeys.
The seeds, embedded in rooting “pillows,” were activated and watered on July 8 and grew for 33 days before harvest.
On Monday, the lettuce got the approval of astronauts who harvested the lettuce and recorded their reactions in a video.