The Veggie plant growth system has been activated inside a control chamber at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The red, blue and green LED lights have been turned on and the root mat and plant pillows containing outredgeous red romaine lettuce seeds have been inserted into the chamber. The clear bellows have been expanded and secured. Checking the system are, from left, Gioia Massa, NASA payload scientist for Veggie, Gerard Newsham, Veggie payload support specialist with Jacobs Technology, and Trent Smith, NASA project manager. 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