The need for a sustainable food source in outer space has prompted scientists to look for ways to provide food for long-term space missions.
Seed potato production in space was tested in October 1995 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in its Microgravity Astroculture Laboratory.
Plants will play an important role in long-duration space flights, such as missions on the International Space Station. Not only will they provide food and water to crews, but they will help replenish oxygen and help remove excess carbon dioxide from the air.
American Ag-Tec International's development of Quantum Tubers™ resulted through a NASA-sponsored Commercial Space Center located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. NASA's Commercial Space Centers help companies develop products derived from space-based research as part of the Space Product Development Office at Marshall Space Flight Center. Growing potatoes may not be rocket science, but this Space Age development is a good example of the far-reaching benefits on Earth as well as in space. Keep that in mind the next time you order fries with your burger.