Soon, astronauts will enjoy fresh salads aboard the International Space Station

NASA is growing plants in orbit to find out how we can improve the way we do it here on the surface. The International Space Station (ISS) has released a photo of lettuce growing inside a chamber, a process astronauts are patiently observing and recording.

The VEGGIE hardware is undergoing a proof-of-concept test (nicknamed VEG-01) and so far it’s doing a terrific job of supporting plant life sans gravity. The VEGGIE is a low-cost chamber with “pillows” that provide anchor and nutrients to the roots of the plant. Inside the International Space Station, the miniature greenhouses can be used as a form of recreation for crew on long missions, a source of fresh food and for educational outreach.

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