Harvest in Space

Crops in space have been grown and cultivated in the International Space Station (ISS) by many Astronauts. The desire for long-term space missions has given rise to plant production in space or “Harvest in Space”.

Key Points

  • The vegetable crops are grown in “Vegetable Production System” also called as “Veggie”.
  • The purpose of Veggie is to help in the plant growth study of NASA in microgravity.
  • Similar to Veggie, Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) is also a growth chamber for plant research on the station. APH utilizes LED lights and a porous clay substrate with controlled-release fertilizer for delivering nutrients, water, and oxygen to the roots of the plant.
  • Before this, many plants namely- lettuce, mizuna mustard, red Russian kale, Chinese cabbage, and zinnia flowers have been successfully grown in the space station.
  • There is a provision of a space garden onboard the International Space Station which helps the NASA scientists to study the plant growth physiology in space.

First-ever Radish crop harvested in ISS

Recently, Radishes have been grown in the ISS for the first time in a time span of 27 days. . The radishes were grown in APH.  The radish has been grown under the “Radish Harvest” part of the experiment of NASA named Plant Habitat-02.

The Plant Habitat-02 aims to understand the growth of plants in microgravity.

The reason behind choosing radishes for the experiment is that scientists knew that radishes mature in just 27 days. These grown radishes will now be wrapped in foil paper and will be stored in cold storage. These will be brought to Earth in 2021 on the 22nd Commercial Resupply Services mission of SpaceX.

Written by IAS POINT

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