On top of food shortage concerns, other issues astronauts face on long-haul trips like this are the physical ailments of microgravity, prolonged exposure to space radiation and the psychological effects of living in space.

The ability to grow crops on space stations and spacecraft would to a certain degree eliminate at least one of these problems.

Having access to fresh food in space could also help boost astronaut morale.

This is the goal of NASA’s Veg-04B, which is part of NASA’s Space Biology research efforts.

NASA said: “One of Space Biology’s major objectives is to understand how the spaceflight environment affects how plants grow and thrive.



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