- Associated Press - Monday, August 24, 2015

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - South Florida students will be working with NASA to determine which edible plants might be suitable for growing aboard the International Space Station.

The students’ experiments are part of a partnership between the space agency and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The middle and high school students will test various factors that may affect a plant’s growth, flavor and nutrition, and they’ll be using equipment that mimics conditions aboard the space station.

NASA will use the data to determine which plants should be grown in the space station’s plant lab. Earlier this month, astronauts harvested and ate the first produce grown in microgravity - red romaine lettuce.

NASA project scientist Gioia Massa says the Fairchild partnership could help nourish astronauts on future long-term missions, such as exploration of Mars.

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