Peggy Whitson, the oldest woman to enter space, loves gardening and is busy indulging this passion even though she is away from earth. In her latest space visit, she harvested Tokyo Bekana Chinese cabbage for a month. This is the fifth crop grown inside the space station, and the first Chinese cabbage.
The International Space Station crew will get to enjoy a healthy batch of Chinese cabbage. However, not all of the cabbage will be served to them as the rest will be sent to Kennedy Space Center for scientific research on it, a NASA press release stated on Friday, reported The Hindu.
Peggy tweeted from her Twitter account that it is equally fun to do gardening space as it is on earth. She just needs more room to plant more.
Chinese Cabbage was chosen as the most suitable crop to harvest in space after several crops were considered on their nutritional value and how they will grow in space. The top four crops selected were sent to Johnson Space Center’s Space Food Systems team, where volunteer tasters were called in to try them out. The Tokyo Bekana stood out as the most highly rated in all the taste categories.
Later this spring, a second veggie system will be sent up to be seated next to the current one, NASA said.
For further planting experiments, the second veggie system will provide side-by-side comparisons and will hopefully make astronauts like Peggy happy to have a bigger space garden.
Peggy launched off from Kazakhstan in Russia with two other, younger astronauts — Russian cosmonaut, 45-year-old Oleg Novitskiy and a French newcomer to space, 38-year-old Thomas Pesquet. She celebrated her birthday in February in the International Space Station this year when she turned 57. Peggy has broken the record of Barbara Morgan who went into space at the age of 55 in year 2007.
Picture credit- womenandspace.com