Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took their first big bite out into the future of space habitation Aug. 10.
Crew members harvested some of the red romaine lettuce that had been growing in the in the Veggie laboratory and ate it with a celebratory flair. This marked the first time astronauts ate food completely grown in space.
The evolution of this first bite for humans, giant feast for humankind, could pave the way towards longer term space exploration, longer term habitation and even helps move us forward to colonization.
But growin' ain't easy, as NASA told Daily Dot:
There are significant challenges to growing vegetables in space. Without gravity, plants rely on other signals to know which direction to grow, like the presence of light and water. NASA project manager Trent Smith, who's part of the team that designed Veggie, explained how ISS's plant-growth system works to the Daily Dot: "[T]he LED lights in Veggie signal the shoots to grow towards the light and roots towards the water and darkness of the plant pillows. ... Roots need both water and air at the same time, and getting that mix right is extremely challenging."
Since NASA hasn't figured out how to get astronauts to cook in space yet, what with the completely closed off, entirely regulated environment, they'll just keep having to grow fresh veggies in their search for sustenance. Future experiments will try to grow leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, and herbs.
Onwards and upwards while trying to fill the cupboards!