The Potato Became the First Vegetable Grown in Space with Help from Wisconsin
ANTIGO, WI - Back in 1995, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NASA partnered to help tubers become the first vegetable grown in space.
Creating these “Quantum Tubers” involved “combining an agricultural technique from China with controlled environment technologies originally developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison for plant growth in space,” NASA says. American Ag-Tec International, Ltd., from Delavan, WI, then produced the tubers, according to a press release.
Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia tested the seed potato production in its Astroculture plant growth facility. “American Ag-Tec International’s development of Quantum Tubers resulted from a NASA-sponsored Commercial Space Center located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,” says NASA.
While speaking about this milestone, Duane Maatz, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Executive Director, said that it “really puts Wisconsin on the map and shows the technological advances that have and continue to come out of our state.”
Space centers like this have allowed other companies to create products from space-based research.