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Lettuce from space.

Astronauts on the International Space Station recently got a special treat. Not chocolate or pizza, but red romaine lettuce they had grown--in space. The snack marked the first time fresh produce grown in zero gravity has been eaten. The seeds were planted and then watered for 33 days under red, blue, and green LED lights instead of sunlight. After harvesting the leaves, astronauts sprinkled them with oil and vinegar and chowed down. Some of the lettuce was frozen for analysis back on Earth. NASA's program to grow veggies in space will be key to eventually landing people on Mars, 140 million miles from Earth; astronauts will have to grow their own food in space or on the Red Planet to survive. So how did the lettuce taste? "Awesome," says NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren. "Kind of like arugula," muses his colleague Scott Kelly. Pass the space croutons.

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Title Annotation:SCIENCE
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Feb 8, 2016
Words:146
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