Should we all just fuck off and throw ourselves into space? Maybe. Especially if we like lettuce.
Space lettuce. It sounds like two words just put together for no reason: space lettuce. It also sounds like a pejorative nickname for a ditzy vegetarian. “Space lettuce.” Instead it’s a thing that, at some point today, Monday, August 10, 2015, astronauts on the International Space Station will eat. Yum—“space lettuce.”
According to a statement from NASA, members of the Expedition 44 team will harvest a crop of “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce from the plant growth system named “Veggie” (terrible names) located on the station’s orbiting laboratory. The vegetable experiment, called Veg-01, has grown for 33 days and is “being used to study the in-orbit function and performance of the plant growth facility and its rooting ‘pillows,’ which contain the seeds.”
NASA is maturing Veggie technology aboard the space station to provide future pioneers with a sustainable food supplement – a critical part of NASA’s Journey to Mars. As NASA moves toward long-duration exploration missions farther into the solar system, Veggie will be a resource for crew food growth and consumption. It also could be used by astronauts for recreational gardening activities during deep space missions.
But this isn’t the first time astronauts have grown vegetables in space against God’s will. The first bunch was harvested in October 2014 and underwent food safety analysis at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Half of this harvest will travel back to Earth for similar testing.
(Fingers crossed the space lettuce doesn’t kill you because astronauts will have already eaten it.)
Alexandra Whitmire, the Behavioral Health and Performance Research scientist for NASA’s Human Research Program, had this to say: “The Veggie experiment is currently the only experiment we are supporting which involves evaluating the effects of plant life on humans in space.”
Hmmm. Sounds like a lie to me, IDK.