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NASA scientists explain how they help astronauts grow vegetables in space.



  • Recently, astronauts in space have enjoyed supplying fresh vegetables, including vegetables Choi.
  • The sailors turned them into a delicacy by fermenting the leaves in shrimp paste, garlic and soy sauce.
  • NASA scientists told Insider how they helped develop plant production experiments.

Given the many challenges astronauts will face in their future missions to the Moon and Mars, staying healthy is one of the most important things.

But in recent days, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have found a shocking solution to keep them on long missions. It comes from the efforts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission commander and Expedition 64 team member Michael Hopkins.

The insider spoke with two NASA scientists, Matt Romeyn and Gioia Massa, who worked on plant production experiments known as Veg-03Kand VEG-03L. Romin was the principal scientist in the experiment and Gioia was a scientist. Kennedy Space Center Plant Science

Veg-03Kand VEG-03L is intended to test a new type of space plant, “Amara”

; mustard, also known as Ethiopian kale, and previously grown plants. The “special dwarf” pak choi both gave successful results. Ever since harvested by Hopkins on April 13, the two plants have grown for 64 days, the longest-lasting green vegetables grown on the space station.

According to Romin Pachchoi, germinate for a long time until the plants begin to bloom as part of the reproductive growth cycle. It is thanks to Hopkins’ efforts to use a small paintbrush to pollinate the flowers of plants.

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NASA


They took this approach after Hopkins’ and Romeyn discussed several options for the pollination process, including allowing the flowers to self-pollinate.

“We are very happy with his efforts to pollinate those flowers to see the possibilities of producing seeds from them,” Massa said.

She added that this approach “It will be of great importance in the future to be able to produce new plants without obtaining seeds from Earth, so it is very important for long-term missions such as missions to Mars” and the Moon.

Hopkins was very interested in plant production, said Romin and Massa, and he devoted most of his free time in the area to caring for them. This means checking and watering the plants daily, as well as to determine the optimal harvest time.

“It was very challenging, so he had to check them every day and watch them grow and adjust his approach to growing them,” Massa said.

The new method of harvesting is also one of Hopkins’ discoveries in space crop production. This includes a sustainable harvesting method called “The cut and resumed harvest” involves multiple harvests from the same plant, Massa describes.

“He’s just an amazing gardener and scientist for us,” she adds.

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Hopkins poses with leaf specimens from plants grown on the International Space Station.

NASA


Massa said the team ate Pak Choi as a side dish by fermenting the leaves in shrimp paste, garlic and soy sauce, then reheating them in a small food warmer.

“Tasty plus meaty or crunchy,” Hopkins wrote in his lab notes after tasting the “Amara” mustard plant grown in space.

According to Massa, the team put the greens on the tacos or cheeseburgers they made in the past. Massa saw the crew enjoying the “Amara” mustard tree as a lettuce wrap. “I know Russians have canned lobster salad, so they make lettuce wraps in canned lobster salad,” she adds.

For now, the astronauts are focusing on the crops. “Pickled vegetables”, which do not have to be cooked or processed, because they are not capable of doing that kind of work on the space station.

Next year plans to plant The ‘dwarf tomato’, which Massa is like, is like a cherry tomato.

Romin explained that NASA scientists in the Plant Production Program aim to grow plants high in vitamin C and vitamin C.

Vitamin K
For astronauts in space This is because research at the Johnson Space Center has finally found that the nutritional value of food stored in space deteriorates.

“Vitamins and quality can break down for certain food items,” Massa said.

This is why a lot of the work done in aerospace agriculture from a nutrition and supplement perspective is feeding crews traveling to and from Mars, explains Romeyn. “He said about future Mars missions.

NASA officials have absolutely hope that future crew missions to Mars are on the cards. When the agency announced a partnership with SpaceX to return to the moon by 2024, it said in a press release that its voyage to the moon would be a major step towards the Red Planet’s final mission.

“It’s something I hope to see,” said Scott Hubbard, a SpaceX consultant who previously led NASA’s Mars program, in an interview with the insider.


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