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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Others Succeed in Growing Vegetable in Space  [2021年11月8日]

A group of five Japanese organizations and companies including Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and construction company Takenaka Corporation announced that they have conducted an experiment to cultivate plants at the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” of the International Space Station. They adopted the world's first bag-type culture tank technology to propagate plants in a sealed bag. They succeeded in growing lettuce using the experimental cultivation equipment. JAXA plans to evaluate the applicability and superiority of the method in the future.

JAXA has been conducting research on food production for long-term stays on the Moon without relying on supplies from the Earth. The bag-type culture tank is being jointly developed by the group as part of the joint research program by JAXA Space Exploration Innovation Hub. The bag-type cultivation method prevents the contamination of bacteria and odor. The system is compact and easy to maintain. The experiment lasted 48 days, from August 27 to October 13. On September 10, the first leaf of lettuce was observed. After that, the lettuce continued to grow steadily and was harvested.