Washington: In a pioneering feat, the crew members on board the International Space Station (ISS) are set to eat fresh food grown in the microgravity environment of space for the first time.
LED lights are used to grow the plant. Pic/AP
The expedition's 44 crew members, including NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, are ready to sample the fruits of their labour after harvesting a crop of Outredgeous red romaine lettuce from the veggie plant growth system on the orbiting laboratory. The astronauts will clean the leafy greens with citric acid-based, food with sanitising wipes before consuming them.
They will eat half of the space bounty, setting aside the other half to be packaged and frozen on the station until it can be returned to Earth for scientific analysis.
"Having fresh food like these available in space could have a positive impact on people's moods and also could provide some protection against radiation in space," said Dr Ray Wheeler, head of advanced life support activities at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.