RADISHES In SPACE

Wait what? No this is not a review of a bad 60s low budget horror movie. NASA has been devoted to finding ways to provide fresh nutritious food to astronauts in space since the Apollo missions. No more TANG, no more dehydrated egg byproducts.

Shocking to know what triggers an idea for a blog. As part of my preparation for Over 40 and Unapologetically Nerdy Podcast research for recent NASA news and photos, I was pleasantly surprised with this development of something beyond the bulky hydroponics I had experimented with as an intern for the 1992 Space Life Sciences Training Program in celebration of International Space Year. I learned that it still is very much alive and has been since 1985 with the 2021 program being virtual. The program operates at the Ames Reasearch Center and not the Kennedy Space Center. Hmm, no watching the sea turtles hatching on the beach? No cooking toast with my German roommate Ina at the Crossway Inn at Cocoa Beach, then clearing out when her husband came into town that last weekend? It has been 28 years since I got on a plane for the first time at Norfolk International, and the memories are as vivid as that summer. I am hopeful I did save those printed stills somewhere in storage.

Plant Habitat-02, Radishes in Space

Fascinated by the rapidity of the growth of the radish. The radish was selected for this experiment of LSUs Plant Habitat-02 due to its rapid maturation, in just 30 days. I believe it to be a highly underrated root vegetable.

The Artemis program in all of its stages is the step-wise means to have a permanent presence on the moon which will serve as a launching pad to Mars and the rest of the galaxy. But also I am imaging more down to earth usage of this technology. I had 4 AeroGardens over the years is there similar technology available for the taxpaying public sector? The pandemic has laid to bare food insecurity as well as food safety with Listeria and E. coli tainted food causing massive recalls.

ESA Astronaut preparing Whole Red Rice and Tumeric Chicken Taco in Space

I can’t imagine having tortillas as a plate, Turmeric Tandoori Chicken tacos are in space…http://bit.ly/CookingInSpaceWithSamantha The European Space Agency has sent up a variety of foods for years with varying success. Besides this video from a number of years ago, and the imagery from the US Radish harvest this week, the most poignant imagery is in the form of satellite images of the coast of New Zealand.

New Zealand Coast, Satellite Image ESA

Most of prepared food seem to be like paste with a baby food consistency because according to the astronaut no spills and no crumbs. And I am sure they also have to be worried about odors in a the confines of the ISS.

So even though my roasted radishes soaked in salt water with cod roasted in a bed of herbs using the radish greens

Cod Slow Roasted in a Bed of Herbs with roasted radishes

Would probably make a culinary splash, but the smell may have over powered everyone else. However, they really need to consider a space cocktail. Because, it can be 5 oclock somewhere in the universe, just sayin’. Send a flask of Jack and Ginger up there. Can you imagine the promotion? Jack Daniel bottles with the Artemis Badge embossed special edition? How cool would that be? Anywho…

The roasted radishes alone or raw fresh snack is an amazing crunchy alternative to the paste in all of those packages. I can truly say that the perfectly cooked fish basking in all that herby goodness, was right up there with my first bite of the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich. After the first bite, I knew I was in trouble, because I knew I had only bought 1 damn sandwich. In this case, I only prepared 2 servings of herb roasted cod.

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