The vegetables would be out of this world. Literally.
Russia recently launched its new space station module called Nauka into space and it plans to build a greenhouse on it which is capable of growing plants and vegetables at an industrial scale. According to Yuri Smirnov, head of Russia’s Biomedical Laboratory at the Institute of Biomedical Problems, “The Vitacycle-T experiment envisages creating a greenhouse to grow plants on an industrial scale.” This project has a huge potential in the future with space-traveling becoming more and more common as it would serve as a sort of nutrition for space travelers as well.
According to the researchers, cosmonauts (astronauts trained by the Russian Federal Space Agency) will plant seeds in a strip at different intervals in the greenhouse and lay the next batch after a certain period. This way the cosmonauts will be able to gather harvest at specific periods of time and enjoy the space veggies themselves as well. “Naturally, no one will prohibit the cosmonauts from using the harvest gathered during the space flight in their nutrition,” commented Smirnov. Initially, napa cabbage would be grown as a test experiment which could be followed by grains, legumes and micro tomatoes. This isn’t the first time vegetables would be grown in space. In December, NASA astronaut, Kate Rubins harvested fresh radishes from International Space Station’s Advanced Plant Habitat. The radishes were sent back to Earth for further research after the crew members got to snack on them themselves.
While we still don’t know how successful space farming is going to be since there are many different factors that have to be taken into consideration which aren’t the conventional types either, it could have a great impact on space traveling in the future.