NASA Says They Can Grow Food In Space Without Soil

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With Charlene Badasie
| 12 seconds ago


As humanity continues to explore space, NASA is looking for ways to provide astronauts with food in a long-lasting, easily absorbed form. The best way to do this is with freshly grown fruits and vegetables. While it may seem simple enough, the challenge is figuring out how to do it in a closed environment with no sunlight or gravity. Various experiments were conducted to see if plants would thrive far from Earth. And as of last week, a new test has begun to see if growing vegetables would be a viable option.

Now, according to a NASA blog postFlight Engineer Jessica Watkins begins picking radishes and mizuna greens on the ISS. And they were grown without any soil. part of the experiment XROOTS Space gardening using hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow edible plants. If successful in the long run, future crews can propel themselves on spaceflight missions beyond low Earth orbit.

Growing any plant in space is always exciting, as astronauts need them for both aesthetic and practical reasons. NASA already knows that the fresh flowers and gardens on the International Space Station create a beautiful atmosphere and allow space travelers to take a small piece of home. journeys. They’re also good for psychological well-being and are critical to keeping astronauts healthy on long-term missions because multi-vitamins aren’t enough to keep them in top shape.

Currently, NASA is providing regular shipments of a variety of freeze-dried and prepackaged meals to astronauts on the space station to meet their nutritional needs. And replenishment missions keep them freshly stocked. However, as these crews venture further into space, traveling for months or years without resupply shipments, vitamins in prepackaged form degrade over time. This leads to the deterioration of the general health of the astronauts.

Matt Damon the Martian
Matt Damon grows potatoes on Mars Martian (2015)

Using soil-like growing materials has always been an option. But it presents potential resource and major health problems. This is what makes NASA’s remarkable hydroponic vegetables an exciting step towards a new era of interstellar exploration. XROOTS, short for Exposed Root On-Orbit Test System, supports a plant in all its growth stages, starting from seed. By byteThe system is experimental and includes several different independent growth chambers that allow astronauts to test a variety of soilless, air- and water-based combinations on different plant species.

NASA’s experimental XROOTS project, developed by private sector company Sierra Space, is not yet ready to power the entire space station. And we’re still waiting for a full culinary review of off-planet vegetables. But since its launch in February and seeing a few more weeks of six months of work remaining, space enthusiasts are looking forward to the other crops and discoveries the experiment might bring. Not to mention the technological possibilities it could create in the future.

Interestingly, hydroponics isn’t the only recent NASA experiment. Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren continued to investigate why microgravity accelerates aging-like symptoms in humans. He processed various samples and stored them in a science freezer. Phospho Aging study. By blog postLiving in space affects the molecular mechanisms that accelerate the loss of bone and muscle mass. The results could inform countermeasures to keep astronauts healthier and improve the lives of aging citizens on Earth.

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