The man who created red lettuce used in zero space salads

Operating system astronauts also need on a healthy diet like those on Earth but zero space, even dealing with vegetables is a big challenge. d zero are colonized by bacteria electronic fungi, making the crew sick.

A lettuce is sony ericsson showing some good candidate to get around this, electronic its creator could never have imagined a spatial fate of its creation.

Frank Morton was coming back from an event for breeding specialists (through crossbreeding) about electronic chefs cooking plants when some friend looked at an electronic cell phone and told him, “Look, they planted lettuce on the Space Station International.”

He asked about which type, however this zero information was available at that time.

Some time later, Morton learned came across some picture of a lettuce in the question, printed in some magazine The. He knew exactly what period lettuce was that, after all, period his own invention: a plant he manipulated electronically called Outredgeous. also researchers from NASA, the American space agency.

Surprise Crossing

Morton is a pioneer in lettuce farming, electronic the organic farm he manages along with wife Karen zero US state over Oregon ze became some mecca for electronic chefs fans of this sheet.

He works they would almost 12 years in handling about plants, electronic they would , created the Outredgeous.

In 1981, when period a beginning farmer , Morton began by growing two types on lettuce: some electronic red roman perform another crisp green, commonly used in salads. He planted some electronic saved seeds for the following year.

Dieses fence about 12 seedlings that were planted in some part of the land, the part about seeds of a green lettuce, came some surprise.

“Well half zero on all of them, there was some red lettuce,” says Frank Morton.

He figured there had been a crossover spontaneous between seeing that two electronic varieties, zero following year, performed more crosses arriving some abundance over electronic color shapes.

Like an Austrian monk Gregor Mendel, whose experiments with peas were like an omen of a science In modern genetics, Frank began to deduce how while plant characteristics were inherited: the dominant period red color, at the expense of a green one; the crisp leaf also prevailed.

Morton sony ericsson stunned. Creating electronic plants new varieties seemed to him to be a promising financial path, electronic, at the same time, aroused some great curiosity in him.

“Something I learned sparked in my brain at that moment”, he says. “From lettuce, I started to explore other plants, such as quinoa electronic peppers. European union I kind of fell in love with them.”

A fascination of a lettuce remained, however. In parallel with other projects, Morton has created more and more red seedlings.

“I was going deep into investigating how red you can make the lettuce,” he recalls.

If he had a red plant, he crossed with another one, hoping to get some even stronger color. Back then, lettuces were more monochromatic perform than today, predominantly green so when Outredgeous lettuce appeared, it was quite unusual.

“Period is so red that, in fact, most 2 gardeners zero I recognized it as lettuce. That period was some kind of beet,” they thought, says Morton. “Period is amazing how red it is. That’s why I gave it that name (the word crazy, from which ze inspired, means, in English, something like shocking ).”

Morton offered the seeds of an Outredgeous for sale through Johnny’s Decided on Seeds, a seed company headquartered zero State perform Maine.

When learned of an arrival of a space station plant, he contacted some NASA electronic team and discovered that, in fact, their seeds had been purchased by them.

“They said the Outredgeous had a growth ‘significantly smaller’ on microbes on the surface of a leaf,'” Frank recalls of his conversation with NASA researchers. the cabbage, which had sony ericsson revealed to be quite vulnerable to microorganisms.

New adventures with lettuces

After a career Space about his creation, Morton follows with several other projects. He is particularly intrigued by the potential of the humble iceberg lettuce.

“They zero have a lot of electronic thus hard flavor to handle, yet they have some interesting ‘crunchiness’.”

Frank Morton is studying how to make them more appealing, whether it’s zero taste or appearance.

“I’m trying to make some bright red lettuce on the outside, electronic pink on the inside. I have some really great lettuce. pretty, I must say.”

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