Remember the other day we said that Japanese whiskey company Suntory wanted to send their alcohol into space in an attempt to age it? If you thought the idea of having space-aged whiskey was pretty neat, then this might be of interest to you too. It turns out that over on the ISS, they have been working on growing their own vegetables, and very soon astronauts will be able to get their daily dose of fiber from more natural sources.
If you’ve ever seen movies, TV shows, or read books on space, you probably know that food for astronauts can hardly be considered organic. In fact if you’ve never tried ice cream for astronauts it’s definitely an experience worth having. That being said, this experiment to grow vegetables in space is not only to provide nourishment, but could also have an impact on the mental state and mood of astronauts.According to NASA’s Dr. Ray Wheeler, “There is evidence that supports fresh foods, such as tomatoes, blueberries and red lettuce are a good source of antioxidants. 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.”
It could also provide those of us on earth an alternative method of growing food in places where sunlight and water might be sparse. It could also help with the upcoming planned manned trip to Mars, with Dr. Gioia Massa adding, “The farther and longer humans go away from Earth, the greater the need to be able to grow plants for food, atmosphere recycling and psychological benefits. I think that plant systems will become important components of any long-duration exploration scenario.”