. 24/7 Space News .
Astronaut Kate Rubins: Fresh food in space is rare, desired
by Paul Brinkmann
Washington DC (UPI) Apr 22, 2021

Astronaut Kate Rubins, who returned from a mission almost a week ago, has urged more research into growing produce while in orbit.

"We don't get a lot of fresh food in space and so, you know, it's pretty funny to get very excited about a spinach salad, but I think that's the best thing in the world," Rubins said during a phone press conference with reporters Wednesday from Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Rubins, 42, was a microbiologist before she became an astronaut. She returned to Earth Saturday from the International Space Station after 185 days in orbit.

And when she landed, she was given a surprise meal that included steak, but she said she got more excited about eating a salad.

Rubins helped to harvest and eat the first radishes grown in space in December, and she helped take samples of microbes around the food-growing experiments.

Learning about space farming and potential obstacles to success will be vital for any long-term missions to the moon or Mars in the future, she said.

The radishes Rubins and her crewmates ate were the first vegetable grown from seed in space aside from leafy greens.

"They were delicious -- we all gave them five-star reviews," Rubins said of the radishes.

Space-based agriculture is a burgeoning field that young people would do well to enter, she said. For example, NASA is offering $500,000 in a Deep Space Food Challenge, with a deadline of July 30, for the best new idea about how to provide food in space.

"We have a lot of people working on this -- how we do more production scale crops," Rubins said. "It can be difficult to get all the nutrients that you need from packaged food, particularly for something like a Mars mission where that food may be prestowed up to five years before you're going to actually eat it."

As one of 18 Artemis astronauts, Rubins could be chosen for a deep space mission in the next few years. She was on the International Space Station when the first operational SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule arrived in November, carrying four astronauts.

"As an astronaut, you'd like to fly as many missions as possible," Rubins said. "This is an exciting time for America and human spaceflight to have our own capability again, with SpaceX and the [NASA] Orion lunar capsule and more planned."

One area of research currently is whether NASA can use more biodegradable materials in space travel that could be composted for agriculture in space or on another planet, she said.

Chili peppers are to be grown next on the space station, said Rich Boling, spokesman for Techshot, the Indiana-based company that makes the growing chamber on the orbiting platform. The company has packed the seeds for launch in June on a SpaceX mission.

"There are absolutely psychological benefits of not only eating fresh food in space, but just tending the garden," Boling said in an interview Thursday. "Chilies are interesting because astronauts report they seek more spices to flavor food after months in orbit."

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Mission Commander Thrives as 'Space Gardener'
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 05, 2021
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins' enthusiasm for learning to grow plants in space has proven fruitful for the agency's Vegetable Production System (Veggie). The Expedition 64 crew member, who arrived at the International Space Station in November 2020 aboard NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 for a six-month science mission, has tended to multiple plant experiments on station. Astronaut Kate Rubins had already started growing the first of two crops of radishes in the Advanced Plant Habitat when Crew-1 arrived, and H ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Stone skipping techniques can improve reentry of space vehicles

ISS sets its research scope on longer space missions

Astronaut Kate Rubins: Fresh food in space is rare, desired

Twenty years of Europeans on the Space Station

Space Launch System Core Stage heads to Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts enter International Space Station

SpaceX capsule Endeavour docks at ISS

Georgia Tech shares $15M from NASA to advance deep space exploration

Mars has right ingredients for present-day microbial life beneath its surface, study finds

MOXIE creates oxygen on Mars

Mars' changing habitability recorded by ancient dune fields in Gale crater

Seismicity on Mars full of surprises, in first continuous year of data

To Mars and beyond, as China's cosmic journey continues

China ready launch new space station core module

China's space-tracking ship departs on new mission in Pacific

China Orbiting 400 Satellites, Heading for 1,000 by 2030, US Space Command Chief Says

Russia launches new batch of UK telecom satellites into space

Ozmens' SNC Launches Sierra Space, an independent commercial space company

OneSat Final Design Review successfully achieved

ESA awards Euroconsult and ESPI with study on the future of European space transportation

M-42 will measure radiation on the Moon

ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on sheltering from space debris

Arrival of world-first test facility

Radar satellites can better protect against bushfires and floods

NASA's Webb to study young exoplanets on the edge

When the atmosphere isn't enough

As different as day and night

Researchers identify five double star systems potentially suitable for life

New Horizons reaches a rare space milestone

New research reveals secret to Jupiter's curious aurora activity

NASA's Europa Clipper builds hardware, moves toward assembly

First X-rays from Uranus Discovered

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.