For the first time in history, NASA astronauts, on Monday harvested and eat the first lettuce grown in space on International Space Station.
The space lettuce were grown as part of NASA’s veggie experiment, Veg-01 to find out ways growing various plants to make astronauts stay longer time on space stations.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly said after eating the fist space-grown plant that "having lived on the space station here for a while I understand the logistical complexity of having people live and work in space for long periods and the supply chain that is required to keep us going. And if we're ever going to go to Mars someday, and we will, but whenever that is, we're going to have to have a spacecraft that is much more sustainable with regards to its food supply."
The other NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren said that "that's awesome. It's fresh… tastes good.”
Astronauts cleaned the lettuce with citric acidic cleaning wipes.
NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz mentioned the importance of the experiment as letting astronauts explore the space with self-sustaining spaceships saying “the more independent we can get from the need to save supplies, the greater we can explore,” she said.
Although various plant have been grown in space, the romanian lettuce has been the first plant which was eaten.
The USSR plant vegetable seed one of its spaceships in 1997. Astronaut Don Pettit from International Space Station also plant zucchinis in a plastic bag in 2014.
With the Veggie project, NASA aims to provide foods for astronauts in space under zero gravity.