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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access February 10, 2017

VEG-01: Veggie Hardware Validation Testing on the International Space Station

  • Gioia D. Massa EMAIL logo , Nicole F. Dufour , John A. Carver , Mary E. Hummerick , Raymond M. Wheeler , Robert C. Morrow and Trent M. Smith
From the journal Open Agriculture

Abstract

The Veggie vegetable production system was launched to the International Space Station with three sets of test plants for an initial hardware validation test, designated VEG-01. VEG-01A and B featured the crop ‘Outredgeous’ red romaine lettuce, while VEG-01C tested ‘Profusion’ zinnia plants for longer duration growth and flowering characteristics. Irrigation of plants in all three growth studies presented a challenge, with lettuce suffering from inadequate water and zinnia suffering from excess water. Direct plant pillow watering by crew members enabled plant growth, and returned samples from the first crop, VEG-01A, indicated that food safety was acceptable. VEG-01B plants at harvest were split to allow for on-orbit crew consumption as well as science sample return. Direct-watered zinnias suffered fungal growth and other physiological stresses, but two plants survived and these produced numerous flowers. The VEG-01 series allowed a large amount of data on system performance, human factors, procedures, microbiology, and chemistry of space-grown plants to be gathered. Observations from these tests are helping to drive future hardware modifications and provide information on food crop growth and development in a microgravity environment.

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Received: 2016-12-20
Accepted: 2017-1-15
Published Online: 2017-2-10
Published in Print: 2017-2-1

© 2017

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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