One small step for man; one giant leap for vegetable-kind.
Scientists at the Kennedy Space Center have developed a special kind of lettuce that astronauts at the International Space Station will likely be able to eat. Next Sunday, the shipment of supplies to the station will include several seed pillows to grow the produce.
The growing happens in the International Space Station's Columbus laboratory under a pink LED light. (The lettuce will be the first fresh food the astronauts have had in a while.) As long as the ISS' crew remembers to clean their veggies with a food-safe wipe before eating, food poisoning shouldn't be an issue.
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
When scientists were trying to decide what kinds of plants to try to grow in space, caloric content was a major concern. Also of importance was how well the food grew and, of course, how good it tasted. Tokyo bekana, a variety of cabbage, met all the requirements for a space crop. Future missions might include tomatoes or other vegetables.
Those on board are reportedly excited to have fresh food and a chance to garden, and they look forward to one day being able to make a salad while floating over 200 miles above the Earth.
[h/t: Florida Today]