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Astronauts eat first grown-in-space salad

Sampling lettuce
Japan’s Kimiya Yui (at left) joins NASA’s Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly in sampling space-grown Outredgeous red romaine lettuce. (Credit: NASA TV)

Astronauts on the International Space Station ate space-grown lettuce for the first time today — an Oregon-bred variety of “Outredgeous” red romaine that’s perfectly suited for outer space as well as the Pacific Northwest.

“Nobody is more surprised that Outredgeous went into space than I am,” said Frank Morton, the founder of Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, Oregon.

Morton developed the romaine variety back in the 1990s, when he was supplying greens for local restaurants. The leaves are so red that the first buyers found it hard to believe it was actually lettuce. But the taste quickly won over those who tried it, including the spacefliers who snipped off the leaves today and sampled them with a dab of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

“That’s awesome,” NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren said.

“Tastes good … kinda like arugula,” said NASA crewmate Scott Kelly, who is in the midst of a yearlong stint on the space station.

Read the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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