NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins made the first harvest of radishes and mizuna beans in the XROOTS gardening study.
Current systems use substrates / media.
XROOTS uses no soil or substrates with a view towards reducing system mass.
XROOTS is a hybrid hydroponic/aeroponic module used to grow edible plants to assist future crews towards self sustainability.
XROOTS stands for eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System.
The objective of the XROOTS investigation is to evaluate nutrient delivery and recovery techniques, such as aeroponics, over the course of a full plant growth cycle from germination to maturity, in the microgravity environment of the ISS.
XROOTS will test nutrient delivery, usage and recovery, power use, root zone atmosphere, along with nutrient spray characteristics and their protocols.
The XROOTS allows the crew to make observations and record video and still images using sensors.