NASA to grow plants on International Space Station (ISS)
The US space agency NASA plans to grow plants on the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of year 2014. Astronauts on board will be able to grow plants with the help of the Veggie “plant pillows” taken to the ISS during a recent supply mission. This will be the first time NASA astronauts will taste something grown in orbit.
Until now, all supplies to the ISS have been transported from Earth. Veggie which is a deployable vegetable production system is a pop-up greenhouse that can be packaged to the size of a briefcase during launch. The main obstruction to growing plants in space is the absence of gravity, since the soil tends to float away. The solution has been to design the equivalent of something like a ‘grow bag’ which NASA describes as “plant pillows”. Two of the three plant pillows sent to ISS contain seeds for a variety of red romaine lettuce called Outredgeous, the third has the flowering plant zinnia.