Recently, the ISS- International Space Station’s astronauts have successfully produced lettuce. The best thing about the newly cultivated lettuce is there are no disease-causing microbes. That means it is completely safe to eat and can last for a longer time. This is a significant success for the astronauts as they have cultivated it under the intense radiation and lower gravity.
Talking more about it, the lettuce will offer astronauts additional vitamins along with potassium. For example, Vitamins B1, C, and K. These vitamins generally degrade when storing for a long time. Besides, they are low in quantity in pre-packaged food.
Furthermore, growing such types of crops will be very useful for the space missions that involve long-distance traveling. For example, Artemis-III mission. Speaking about the mission, it will be carried out to send humans on the lunar south pole. Besides, some other long-distance missions are NASA’s crewed mission to Mars, and SpaceX’s current space mission.
Experts’ statement on this
As per a researcher at the Kennedy Space Center, Christina Khodadad, the astronauts have achieved a great success. The ability to cultivate food in space that is purely safe to use will become crucial for NASA. The reason is NASA is planning to conduct some longer missions in the future. On the other hand, the test also proves that leafy greens can be cultivated using few resources.
Astronauts in ISS consume pre-packaged and processed foods, like shrimp cocktails, fruits, nuts, chicken, and more. However, those rations have come sterilized by freeze-drying, or heating to make them sustain for a long time. But they are not that much of healthy. But the new lettuce cultivated in space is safe to consume. Besides, more tests also have confirmed that the leaves are free from Salmonella, E. coli, S. aureus, and more. Now, the leaves will send back to the Earth for biological and chemical tests.
The new study about the lettuce has published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.