According to foreign media reports, NASA recently shared the latest photos of the “Little Garden” on the International Space Station (ISS), in which some food for astronauts can be seen. In recent years, a number of plant experiments have been conducted on the ISS, including two landmark experiments launched in January this year. In November 2020, the SpaceX Crew-1 manned spacecraft arrived at the ISS with NASA astronauts including Michael Hopkins.
According to NASA, since then, Hopkins has been working on plant experiments on the space station–including harvesting crops grown in space.
As early as January 4, NASA disclosed that Hopkins conducted two experiments involving plants: VEG-03I and VEG-O3J. Among them, the first experiment marked the first time that plants were successfully transplanted into space, while the second experiment involved seeding the seeds of the Kennedy Space Center in orbit.
According to NASA, lettuce grown from seed film and transplanted crops were harvested on February 2. After that, Hopkins started new experiments called VEG-03K and VEG-03L. One of the experiments involved a new “space crop”-the Kennedy Space Center called it a “steak plant” because of its taste. The other involves growing a crop called extra-dwarf cabbage.
Growing crops in space will not only make astronauts familiar with life on Earth, it will also enable humans to obtain and eat fresh vegetables during their long space travels, and solve problems related to potential future manned missions. This is the latest result of many plant-based experiments on ISS, some of which have produced leaves and vegetables for astronauts to eat.