Vegetable Production System (Veggie) - 08.29.18

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) is a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious, and safe source of fresh food and a tool to support relaxation and recreation. The Veggie provides lighting and nutrient delivery and utilizes the cabin environment for temperature control and as a source of carbon dioxide to promote growth. Veggie is also used for fundamental space biology experiments such as the series Advanced Plant Experiments (APEX) and educational space biology activities.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Trent Smith, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: Veggie

Facility Manager(s)
Trent Smith, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL, United States
Michele Dufour, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Information Pending

NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL, United States
Sierra Nevada Corporation, Madison, WI, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2013 - September 2013; March 2014 - March 2016; March 2016 - April 2017; September 2017 - April 2019

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Biomass Production System (BPS), the precursor to Veggie, was utilized on ISS Expedtion 4.


  • Onboard
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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview

    With the long-duration missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS), it has become clear that more emphasis needs to be placed on improving human habitability. The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) provides a means to supply crews with a continuous source of fresh food and a tool for relaxation and recreation.
    Veggie can support a variety of experiments used to determine how plants sense and respond to gravity. A portion of the crop plants are typically harvested and consumed by the crew members with the remaining harvest packaged and returned to Earth for further analysis.
    Veggie's growth volume is one of the largest volume available for plant growth on ISS. This enables growth of larger plants that were previously not grown on ISS due to size restrictions. Additionally, the large, adjustable LED light bank makes Veggie an ideal facility for other experiments requiring a temporary light source.
    As with all basic research, an improved understanding of plant growth and development has important implications for improving plant production on Earth.

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    Facility Operations

    • Veggie is deployed in an EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack. Crop plants can be grown in pillows and PONDS units.
    • Plant pillows with seeds in them are installed onto a root mat, which are installed into the Veggie bellows. Water is injected into the pillows and mat.
    • Power is applied and light levels set. Water and growth height is maintained throughout the plant growth cycle until the vegetables are harvested and the growth cycle is restarted.
    •  The handheld light meter and sensor will enable a better assessment of the light environment for plants. Some plants are sensitive to light during the night cycle and understanding Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) intensity from external sources through Veggie’s clear bellows can be important for crops such as the tomato plant. The light meter is portable, battery operated, handheld, and can be used with various sensors. On-orbit with the light meter is a quantum light sensor which measures the number of photons ranging from 400nm to 700nm also known as PAR. PAR units are μmol/m2 s.


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    Decadal Survey Recommendations

    Information Pending

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    Results Publications

      Urbaniak C, Massa GD, Hummerick ME, Khodadad CL, Schuerger AC, Venkateswaran KJ.  Draft genome sequences of two Fusarium oxysporum ‚Äčisolates cultured from infected Zinnia hybrida ‚Äčplants grown on the International Space Station. Genome Announcements. 2018 May 17; 6(20): e00326-18. DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00326-18. PMID: 29773617. [Available in GeneLab]

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

      Zabel P, Bamsey M, Schubert D, Tajmar M.  Review and analysis of over 40 years of space plant growth systems. Life Sciences in Space Research. 2016 August; 10: 1-16. DOI: 10.1016/j.lssr.2016.06.004.

      Massa GD, Wheeler RM, Morrow RC, Levine HG.  Growth chambers on the International Space Station for large plants. Acta Horticulturae 1134, East Lansing, Michigan; 2016 May 22 215-222. [Also Advanced Plant Habitat related.]

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    Related Websites

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    VEGGIE prototype.

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    NASA Image: ISS039E019105 - Flight Engineer (FE) Rick Mastracchio installs the Veggie hardware into EXPRESS Rack (ER) 3.

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