Technology & Science

ISS astronauts eat lettuce grown in space for first time

On Monday, for the first time astronauts munched on red romaine lettuce that they grew in space.

2 Russian cosmonauts also went for 6-hour spacewalk Monday

This NASA photo shows a crop of red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that tests hardware for growing vegetables and other plants in space on the ISS. (Nasa/AP)

These are the salad days of scientific research on the International Space Station. On Monday, for the first time astronauts munched on red romaine lettuce that they grew in space.

After clicking their lettuce leaves like wine glasses, three astronauts tasted them with a bit of Italian balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren pronounced it awesome, while Scott Kelly compared the taste to arugula. They talked about how the veggies added colour to life in space.

If astronauts are to go farther in space, they will need to grow their own food and this was an experiment to test that.

Astronauts grew space station lettuce last year but had to ship it back to Earth for testing and didn't get to taste it.

Cosmonauts spacewalk

Earlier Monday, two Russian crewmembers began a spacewalk to install new equipment and inspect the orbiting outpost's exterior.

Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko mounted devices that will ease the movement of crew on future spacewalks. They also replaced an antenna, cleaned windows of one of the station's modules and took pictures of its outer surface. The duo is also set to remove an experiment intended to study the impact of the space plasma environment on the station.

Monday's six-hour spacewalk is the 10th for Padalka, who has spent more time in space than any other human.

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