With all the ideas about traveling to Mars and technology being developed to achieve this seemingly impossible task, scientists have not forgotten about the more worldly issues like growing plants in a different environment.
You all know that lettuce has been successfully grown in space and so were tomatoes, with the ISS scientists on board celebrating and happily eating fresh salads after carefully testing it. But now on Earth, a team of scientists is working on their new project – trying to find new ways to grow different plants in space.
In 2021 they have scheduled to grow beans in space. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has developed high-tech planters. Lettuce was grown in artificial soil which was made from lava rock. The ultimate goal is to make plants grow just with water that gets supplements of plant nutrients. These plants will not be certified as organic – since they must have soil to be organic, but they will be Space Certified.
Growing Beans on the ISS
If we were to send humans to Mars, the mission might take a year, and vacuum packed food won’t be enough. Plus, fresh veggies sound like a treat up there in space, even if the astronauts get to taste it once every few months.
Scientists have a lot of time to grow and prepare vegetables in space, and by 2030, The European Space Agency will have a lunar base. This base would be the waypoint for Mars, and NASA also stated that they want to send a manned mission by 2030 to Mars directly from Earth. However, being behind schedule with the James Webb telescope and the money invested in it, they might not be able to send astronauts to the Red Planet by then.
But until we get to Mars, growing beans in space aboard the space station is a good beginning.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere