Moscow: Orbital farming! Astronomers onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have successfully grown a variety of crops such as wheat, peas and greens, according to a Russian scientist.
The crops harvested for the experimental greenhouse on board the space station have been verified as safe to eat, the scientist said.
“The experiments with peas have been very promising,” Margarita Levinskikh, a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Problems told an annual space conference in Moscow.
Japanese leafy greens and a variety of dwarf wheat that has produced seeds of “just extraordinary quality” were also grown by Russian cosmonauts, Levinskikh said.
She informed that Russian cosmonauts plan to sow rice, tomatoes and bell peppers next year after repairing the station’s Lada greenhouse, ‘RIA Novosti’ reported.
Researchers so far have relied on analysing root modules of the crops to verify them as safe to eat.
They now plan to grow rice and the grass species, whose genomes have already been sequenced, in order to look for possible genetic abnormalities after they have grown in space, the report said.
Currently, all food onboard the ISS is flown up on periodic resupply missions.