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Low-maintenance strawberry may be good crop to grow in space
Date:5/3/2010

rries are easy to prepare and there's little waste."

Seascape also had less cycling, meaning it steadily supplied fruit throughout the test period. Massa said the plants kept producing fruit for about six months after starting to flower.

Mitchell said the earliest space crops will likely be part of a "salad machine," a small growth unit that will provide fresh produce that can supplement traditional space meals. Crops being considered include lettuces, radishes and tomatoes. Strawberries may be the only sweet fruit being considered, he said.

"The idea is to supplement the human diet with something people can look forward to," Mitchell said. "Fresh berries can certainly do that."

Judith Santini, a research statistical analyst in Purdue's Department of Agronomy, was responsible for data analysis from the tests.

Mitchell and Massa said they next plan to test Seascape strawberries using LED lighting, hydroponics and different temperature ranges. NASA funded their work.


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Contact: Brian Wallheimer
bwallhei@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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