Have your parents ever told you to eat your vegetables because they’re “good for you”? Well, vegetables have a lot of nutrients in them that are essential to a balanced diet. While you might get these foods at the store, astronauts rely on processed meals. We wanted to find out if there was a way to grow safe and nutritious salad crops on the International Space Station (ISS) to help supplement their diets. We used a growth chamber called Veggie to grow crops of red romaine lettuce over three different years. We found that our lettuce was safe to eat, although the nutrient content of our lettuce varied slightly each year. For future long-duration space missions, it will be important to make sure that astronauts can create the same growing conditions for every crop of salad.

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Summary of research
Researchers investigated the nutrient content and microbial safety of lettuce grown on the International Space Station.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
May 2022

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