Although space farming was a fictionalized scenario in Matt Damon’s blockbuster movie, The Martian, it is already actually happening.
Astronauts can farm in space!
Right now, its costs $10, 000 to put a pound of food and other supplies into the Earth’s orbit.
According to Bruce Bugbee, director of plants, soils and climate department at Utah State University, NASA and the university have been working together for the past ten years to grow plants in space.
“What we have focused on is just growing a few salad crops. Growing some lettuce, growing some radishes and they help to recycle the water,” Bugbee said according to TechCrunch.
Bugbee saw his project come to fruition recently, when astronauts on the International Space Station were not only able to harvest crops in August but also became the first humans in space to consume them, according to a post on NASA.gov.
Right now, its costs $10, 000 to put a pound of food and other supplies into the Earth’s orbit. Growing food in space will definitely make space travel much more cost-effective, says Bugbee.
He also said scrubbing CO2 from the cabins of the space station is a very complex and expensive process, a process that plants do naturally and for free.
In addition, Bugbee says there are also psychological benefits – watching plant life grow can improve an astronauts’ mood on a long, dark ride out into space.
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