Astronauts Get First Taste of Veggies Harvested in Space

Astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren, and Kimiya Yui all munched on red romaine lettuce this afternoon, except unlike your sad desk salad, this produce was grown on the global Space Station. The seeds come in “pillows” that Kelly activated July 8 and grew for 33 days before harvest.


The agency’s plant experiment, dubbed Veg-01, uses rooting “pillows”, which contain the seeds.

Astronauts on the global Space Station ate lettuce Monday grown in space, as said by NASA.

It is due to the fact that the scientists found out that fresh foods, including red lettuces, are considered to be good sources of antioxidants. Growing fresh food also helps to recycle the air in spacecraft, converting carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts back to oxygen.

This recent crop will undergo analysis after the astronauts eat half of the harvest, according to NASA’s official website.

Now that space plants have the go-ahead from NASA, all astronauts need to do before consuming the romaine is to give the leaves a wipe down with food sanitizing wipes.

Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC) (Madison, Wisconsin) developed this Veggie system and was supplied with sets of pillows by SpaceX in April 2014. Half of the harvest, which was plucked 33 days after it was initially planted, will be eaten. This time around, the crewmembers of Expedition 44, including astronaut Scott Kelly, who is four months into a yearlong space mission, got to enjoy the bounty.

Astronauts aboard the worldwide Space Station are going to have a very special meal tomorrow.

NASA hopes to increase the amount of crops in the future, and will be experimenting with growing more food in microgravity. “I think that plant systems will become important components of any long-duration exploration scenario”, said NASA payload scientist Gioia Massa.

The plants are housed in a collapsible and expandable Veggie unit, featuring a flat panel light bank of red, blue and green LEDs for plant growth and observation. This system is well equipped with red, blue and green LEDs to support plant growth.


Fresh food, such as vegetables, provide essential vitamins and nutrients that will help enable sustainable deep space pioneering.

First bite of space-grown lettuce is 'awesome'