By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz may have created space-themed gourmet meals, but he definitely wasn’t inspired by the dry food provided for astronauts on missions. Luckily for future space travelers, NASA is working on a project called the Vegetable Production System (Veggie), which will grow fresh produce up in space!
Veggie is a low-cost system which will test how well plants can grow in conditions where there is zero gravity. The device is about 11.5 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep, can be collapsed for easy transport, and only takes up as much space as the plants actually need. Veggie is also embedded with green, red, and blue LED lights, which will help grow and sustain the fresh sprouts. According to NASA, the device can even be used for recreational purposes, especially for astronauts who enjoy gardening as a hobby.
The ability to grow food is important for long-term missions and ambitious projects like Mars One, which hopes to send a group of brave individuals to the Red Planet in the year 2023. Also, this technology may be just as important for dinner plates here at home. As the human population increases, personal farms are a great way to make sure everyone has access to fresh produce and nutrients.
Veggie launched today, April 14, on SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.
Images courtesy of NASA.