NASA harvests fresh radishes grown in space for the 1st time.



NASA successfully planted radishes in space and its astronauts have harvested fresh radishes which have a delicious taste for the first time.

NASA successfully planted radishes in space and its astronauts have harvested fresh radishes which have a delicious taste for the first time.

On November 30, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins harvested 20 radish plants grown in the Advanced Plant Environment (APH) on the ISS.

NASA harvests fresh radishes grown in space for the 1st time.

Kate Rubins harvested 20 radish plants grown in the Advanced Plant Environment (APH) on the ISS. 

She carefully wrapped each tree in foil and placed it in cold storage for storage until they were returned to Earth during SpaceX's 22nd Commercial Supply Service mission in 2021.

Radish is the latest plant that has been successfully grown and harvested under NASA zero gravity, along with red lettuce, green lettuce, cabbage, lentils and mustard.

The experiment, Plant Habitat-02 (PH-02), is NASA's first experiment to grow radishes in space.  This plant was chosen because it requires little care but grows fast (can be harvested after 27 days) and is very nutritious.

"Radishes is different from the green vegetables NASA has grown on the ISS in the past. Testing a variety of plants helps us determine which plants thrive in non-gravity environments, while also providing diversity in menu and nutritional balance for astronauts on long-term missions on the ISS” said Nicole Dufour, NASA's APH program manager at Kennedy Space Center.

Unlike previous experiments in the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) and NASA APH that used porous clay material pre-mixed with a slow-release type of fertilizer, this test is based on the amount of minerals supplied.  This allows for an accurate comparison of the supplied nutrients with those absorbed by the plant.

The planter also uses red, blue, green and broad spectrum white LEDs to provide a variety of light to stimulate plant growth.

The sophisticated control system supplies water, while cameras and more than 180 sensors allow researchers to monitor plant growth as well as adjust humidity, temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations.

The astronauts will continue to experiment with growing radishes in space, planting and harvesting another batch of radishes so that scientists can gather more data.

NASA harvests fresh radishes grown in space for the 1st time.

NASA has been testing more than 100 types of plants grown on Earth 

"Successfully growing a new food crop in space is great fun because what we learn can support NASA in long-term, far-away missions like sending humans to Mars and spinning back to earth". Dufour emphasized on the importance of experiments.

Currently astronauts have planted 15 different plants on the ISS station, including 8 types of green trees.  Meanwhile, NASA has been testing more than 100 types of plants grown on Earth, determining which plants will be planted next in space.

Research shows that space-grown lettuce is safe to eat and tastes good.  With a short cultivation period, radish has the potential advantage as a food source for astronauts on long-term space missions in the coming years.

NASA harvests fresh radishes grown in space for the 1st time.

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