Tomatoes grown on space are all set to return to Earth this Saturday!
Yes, the tomatoes that were grown by astronauts aboard the ISS’ orbiting lab will make their way to Earth this Saturday.
In its tweet, NASA announced that SpaceX’s CRS-27, a cargo resupply spacecraft will transport the tomatoes here. The scientific samples will then be transported to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida so that researchers can undertake additional analyses. Reports state that the spacecraft will be carrying nearly 2,000kg of supplies and scientific experiments.
CRS-27 will depart from the ISS at 10:45 am EST (8:15 pm Indian Time).
As part of the Veg-05 experiment to investigate the effects of light quality and fertiliser on fruit production, microbiological safety, and nutritional value, dwarf tomatoes were grown in the station’s ‘Veggie’ facility.
As part of this study, each crop was cultivated under two distinct LED lighting setups in two different ‘Veggie’ chambers. Plant “pillows,” which are sacks filled with soilless substrate and fertiliser, were used to grow six plants.
The crew then nurtured the plants for 104 days, provided water, pollinated them, and kept an eye on their health and development.