Rocket seedling production on the international space station: Growth and nutritional properties
Colla, Giuseppe, et al. (2007). "Rocket seedling production on the international space station: Growth and nutritional properties." Microgravity Science and Technology 19 5-6: 118-121
Producing sprouts directly during space missions may represent an interesting opportunity to offer high-quality fresh ready to eat food to the astronauts. The goal of this work was to compare, in terms of growth and nutritional quality, rocket (Eruca sativa Mill.) seedlings grown in the International Space Station during the ENEIDE mission with those grown in a ground-based experiment (in presence and absence of clinorotation). The rocket seedlings obtained from the space-experiment were thinner and more elongated than those obtained in the ground-based experiment. Cotyledons were often closed in the seedlings grown in the space experiment. Quantitative (germination, fresh and dry weight) and qualitative (glucose, fructose, sucrose and starch) traits of rocket seedling were negatively affected by micrograv-ity, especially those recorded on seedlings grown under real microgravity conditions The total chlorophyll, and carotenoids of seedlings obtained in the space experiment were strongly reduced in comparison to those obtained in the ground-based experiment (presence and absence of clinorotation). The results showed that it is possible to produce rocket seedlings in the ISS; however, further studies are needed to define the optimal environmental conditions for producing rocket seedlings with high nutritional value.