Video: Scientists grow crops on the International Space Station

A team of researchers led by Alejandro Pérez-Gonzalez has successfully grown food on the International Space Station (ISS), an achievement that could have implications for space flight around the globe. The researchers tested bread and peppers grown in zero gravity and it was deemed the best overall “space crops” after they were subjected to simulated planet-to-planet travel and tracked by remote sensors. The researchers received funding from NASA’s commercial spaceflight programs and DigitalGlobe, a space imaging company.

The first set of astronauts to grow plants onboard the ISS obtained their results this week and gave a talk with public radio station KPCC in Southern California about the journey from zero gravity to space vegetables. Pérez-Gonzalez, speaking in Spanish, said that even though the bread and peppers made up very small amounts of the food on the space station, they were useful because they gave “a glimpse into what might happen in the future.” They also tasted good, he said.

“What we can learn from zero gravity to the Earth is we can use what we learned on the space station for the people on the ground,” said one of the experts. Another added that simply placing crops on the ISS had “implications in the future with promoting plant species with a biobiotic flavor.”

“I think the next step that may come will be getting seeds to grow plants in Earth orbit,” said Pérez-Gonzalez. “We can try to encourage more people to grow plants.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

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