First bite of space-grown lettuce is 'awesome'

By Jill Replogle

MIAMI, United States — Astronauts living at the International Space Station took their first bites of space-grown lettuce on Monday, in what scientists described as another step toward enabling human missions to Mars.

“That’s awesome,” exclaimed NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, after he ate a piece of red romaine lettuce that was grown in a special box aboard the orbiting outpost.

“Tastes good,” agreed astronaut Scott Kelly, who is spending one year at the research outpost.

“Kind of like arugula,” Kelly added, then used a small bottle to spread olive oil and balsamic vinegar on his leaf, much as one might spread ketchup on a hot dog.

If space explorers can grow their own food while they are away from the Earth, NASA says they are more likely to survive the rigors of deep space exploration lasting months or even years.

With no way to resupply a spacecraft making a long journey to and from Mars, the ability to cultivate food during the trip will be key to survival, said Kelly.

“Having the ability to grow our own food is a big step in that direction,” he said.

Ray Wheeler, NASA’s lead scientist for advanced life support activities at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, also said fresh foods … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times