During the past month, astronauts aboard the International Space Station have been growing a small batch of radishes as part of ongoing research into plant life in space.
The radish crop is fully-grown now and will be placed in cold storage. Once returned to Earth in 2021, the radishes will be evaluated as part of NASA’s work to understand the best options for space crops.
I’m all for these kinds of experiments. Although the likelihood that I’ll ever fly in space is zero, it’s still exciting to think that, one day, astronauts might take trips to other planets and that average folks will live and work in space. These experiments affirm the possibility that future generations of space travelers will need food sources beyond the short-term options that currently exist.
However, I’m not a fan of radishes. So, the thought of astronauts dining on a combination of pre-packaged meals and radishes is somewhat disappointing.
Hopefully, NASA’s plans and experiments include other vegetables. Carrots or cucumbers, perhaps, or some tasty tomatoes.
I also hope they’ve locked down a way to make condiments available in zero-g. I doubt that somebody who is living in a vacuum-sealed tin can for long periods of time, eating their veggies without any ranch dip, is going to be a happy camper.