You Can Now Have Salad in… Outer Space?

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Salad in Outer Space

Photo: Pond5

Perhaps we take our daily salads for granted — the satisfying crunch of kale, the crispness of a freshly plucked radish, you know, all the hallmarks of a good meal. (If you’re not smiling with salad, then you’re just not doing it right.) But in outer space, fruits and veggies aren’t just a rare commodity, they’re also an important part of keeping the astronauts grounded, in a dietary sense.

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When you’re holed up in a rocket ship, not unlike Scott Kelly, whose year-long mission in space is being documented by Time, having the creature comforts of home can play an important role in one’s mental and physical health. However, the on-board food options aren’t necessarily the most palatable. (Example A: Check out the taco Kelly whipped up to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.) In fact, astronaut fare is usually pretty far from tasty, considering everything in their traditional food supply has been freeze-dried and prepackaged.

But all that’s about to change.

Yesterday, Kelly and his colleagues aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were treated to a fresh surprise: red romaine lettuce. Initiated by NASA’s Veggie project, it took 33 days for the head to grow, and just one evening aboard the ISS to eat. The crew chose to have their greens (errrr…reds) served up with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. And just as we’d imagine one would feel after months away from salad, astronaut Kjell Lingreden told Mission Control in Houston it was “awesome, tastes good.”

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Check out more from the ISS in the video above — and don’t be surprised when you’re craving something fresh and crunchy you can really grab a hold of.