Space lettuce may be the next giant leap for mankind. Or at least a way for astronauts to eat a fresh salad.
Astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui ate red romaine lettuce on the International Space Station on Monday. For those of us eating a salad at our desks right now, you may be wondering what the big deal is.
Well, it's the first time humans are eating food that was grown in space. Someone cue the "Star Wars" theme song.
After giving a quick cheers with their lettuce leaves, the astronauts dug in.
"That's awesome," proclaimed Lindgren. Kelly's face, and a shrug of his shoulders, said otherwise, but he later told ABC News he thought it tasted good, "kind of like arugula."
The space lettuce was grown as part of NASA's Veg-01 plant experiment, otherwise known as the space garden, where a variety of plant species are being grown and tested. Having a self-sufficient ship, with a garden, could come in handy during future long-haul missions.
The red romaine lettuce was part of a crop that was planted July 8.
But before the astronauts ate the space lettuce, they cleaned it with citric acid-based sanitizing wipes. Apparently, space lettuce, like Earth lettuce, is dirty. The lettuce was then dressed with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Half of the lettuce will be shipped back to Earth for further testing. And no word yet on whether space lettuce will ever make its way to a dinner table on this planet.
I like the idea of a space lettuce Cobb salad. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_