Researchers have activated the red, blue and green LED lights on the Veggie plant growth system inside a control chamber at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They are checking the plant pillows that contain outredgeous red romaine lettuce seeds. From left, are George Guerra, quality control engineer with QinetiQ North America, and Jim Smodell, a technician with SGT. The growth chamber will be used as a control unit and procedures will be followed identical to those being performed on Veggie and the Veg-01 experiment on the International Space Station by Expedition 39 flight engineer and NASA astronaut Steve Swanson.
Veggie and Veg-01 were delivered to the space station aboard the SpaceX-3 mission. Veggie is the first fresh food production system delivered to the station. Six plant pillows, each containing outredgeous red romaine lettuce seeds and a root mat were inserted into Veggie. The plant chamber's red, blue and green LED lights were activated. The plant growth will be monitored for 28 days. At the end of the cycle, the plants will be carefully harvested, frozen and stored for return to Earth. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis