ISS: NASA reported that the International Space Station (ISS) vegetable growing mission has been a success. Because of this, astronauts have been able to eat fresh foods like mustards and pak choi (known as Chinese chard in Brazil).
The project is not being carried out by Michael Hopkins, commander of Expedition 64. Altogether, there are 4 scientific experiments that aim to test the growth rate of cultures in space, in a microgravity environment. This testing of space agriculture will serve to test new ways of growing food on future trips to the Moon, according to the US Space Agency.
To pollinate vegetables, Hopkins used brushes at the suggestion of Matt Romeyn, a NASA scientist who studies the behavior of vegetables outside Earth. The process caused the Chinese chard to be grown in 64 days, little more than the approximately 50 days it takes for the species to be grown here.
The crew took advantage of fresh food to vary the meal. Chard, for example, was used as an accompaniment and had the leaves marinated in an empty tortilla package. The vegetable was bathed in soy sauce and garlic and heated for just over 20 minutes.
The mustard was tasted with chicken, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. “(It was) delicious and the texture is crunchy”, wrote Hopkins in the notes of the experiment after tasting the mustard grown in space. He also said that species are “a connection to the Earth” and that is why he likes being the ISS “gardener” so much.
“The team is enjoying growing and eating them. And these are the exact types of crops that we can send on a long-term lunar stay to provide supplemental nutrition. Everything we learn at the station and on the moon will eventually allow us to do that on the route to Mars someday, ”explained Romeyn.