Will the first simultaneously grown lettuce in space the first giant step for an economically and agriculturally viable human settlement for a galactic colonization in a distant future?
We may have already been planting lettuce on earth just enough; or the NASA astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) may have just been busy finding sustainable methods in space living that they took the time to partake in the green revolution up in space.
NASA astronaut Steve Swanson "Veggie" experiment, Veg-01 the predecessor of the current Veg-03. (NASA 2014)
Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut had his first harvest of the space-grown lettuce
inside the ISS using method called “cut-and-come-again" which simply trims the leaf off and leave the rest of the core plant to grow back and reproduce.
It's understandable that the process of cultivating the ‘Outredgeous’ red romaine lettuce plants inside the space station underwent a thorough NASA research called "Veggie" experiment
. Yes, our astronauts up in space have to become a bit of an horticulturist and have to put their best "green thumb" forward. An expert has to be with them on this green venture.
's official webpage explains the valuable participation of Charles Spern, a Veggie project engineer with the Engineering Services Contract who relays messages from the Kennedy Space Center Veggie team to assist the crew during the harvest.
Charles Spern relays assistance from Kennedy Space Center to ISS crew
NASA's "Veggie" experiment indeed prepares earthlings for a more advanced space exploration in the distant future.
"Future long-duration missions into the solar system, finally culminating on Mars, will require a fresh food supply to supplement crew diets, which means growing crops in space."
With the recent discovery of Katzie tribe's 3,800 years old Indian potato garden
in Canada, why can't a highly advanced civilization of humans grow fruits and trees in space in the distant future right?
I won't be surprised if Martha Stewart will play a part in the Kennedy Space Center by relaying different space-friendly recipes of lettuce salad to the ISS crew.
See: NASA Space Heist Mission: Steal from Asteroid, Give to Moon