At the International Space Station, located 220 miles above Earth, astronauts from numerous countries who reside in the facility have been conducting experiments for over 20 years. This activity has ranged from the effects of anti-gravity on matter and life to earth observation that includes the conditions of glaciers, agricultural fields, cities, and coral reefs.
One of the more recent experiments is growing several different varieties of vegetables under LED grow lights. NASA has the astronauts that tend the “gardens” take surveys every couple of weeks to track the growth of the plants and how growing vegetables affect them mentally and physically (how they taste, smell, and feel). Through these surveys, NASA has learned what vegetables work well in specific environments and what they need to change for improvement. Overall, growing vegetables under LED lighting in space has been a positive experiment and opens the doors for future horticultural possibilities outside Earth’s atmosphere.
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