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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Science

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Astronomers onboard ISS successfully grow wheat, peas and greens
PTI
Moscow , February 02, 2014
First Published: 17:57 IST(2/2/2014)
Last Updated: 18:15 IST(2/2/2014)

Orbital farming! Astronomers onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have successfully grown a variety of crops such as wheat, peas and greens, according to a Russian scientist.

The crops harvested for the experimental greenhouse on board the space station have been verified as safe to eat, the scientist said.

"The experiments with peas have been very promising," Margarita Levinskikh, a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Problems told an annual space conference in Moscow.

Japanese leafy greens and a variety of dwarf wheat that has produced seeds of "just extraordinary quality" were also grown by Russian cosmonauts, Levinskikh said.

She informed that Russian cosmonauts plan to sow rice, tomatoes and bell peppers next year after repairing the station's Lada greenhouse, 'RIA Novosti' reported.

Researchers so far have relied on analysing root modules of the crops to verify them as safe to eat.


The harvest, which includes Japanese leafy greens, pictured, dwarf wheat and peas, has now also been verified as safe to eat. Photo : NASA.


Flight engineer and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov is pictured with Margarita Levinskikh, a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Problems. The next step is to sow rice, tomatoes and bell peppers, like the ones pictured, after repairing the station's Lada greenhouse. Photo : NASA

They now plan to grow rice and the grass species, whose genomes have already been sequenced, in order to look for possible genetic abnormalities after they have grown in space, the report said.

Currently, all food onboard the ISS is flown up on periodic resupply missions.


This artist's impression shows how a greenhouse of the future could look in space. Nasa is already planning to see if humans could live on the moon by seeing if plants can be grown in a lunar environment. Photo: NASA


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