In a report by AP News, it has been revealed that a team of scientists at Germany’s Neumayer Station III which is in Antarctica had successfully grown their first crop. The first crop was produced without any soil, sunlight or pesticides.
The main goal of this project is to explore the food growing methods for the use of outer space missions. The researchers have harvested about eight pounds of salad greens which includes Swiss chard, 18 cucumbers and 70 radishes which are enough to arrange a heavy and big feast. This harvesting of the crop is just the beginning. According to the German Aerospace Center said on last Thursday that the scientists have a target of harvesting up to 11 pounds of crop per week by May.
The vegetables that are harvested in Antarctica are grown inside a shipping container which was arrived in the Antarctic in January 2018. The process by which plants are grown is called aeroponics which is a method of cultivation which do not require soil or sunlight. Plants used to get all the important nutrients through liquids which are sprayed into the roots and bask them in LED lights in the air which enriched the air with CO2. This system and greenhouse process is a part of the “Eden ISS” project which is in association with the German Aerospace Center or DLR.
The first harvest of the vegetables is successful and it proved to be a boost for the scientist who is researching to grow vegetables on the interplanetary missions where astronauts can confine to tight quarters for several years. This success in Antarctica shows that the astronauts can use this system in order to grow the vegetables in space and can cultivate a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in their ships.