Swiss chard: a salad crop for the space program

Life Support Biosph Sci. 2002;8(3-4):173-9.


Salad greens will be among the first crops grown on lunar or planetary space stations. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L.) is an important candidate salad crop because it is high yielding and rich in vitamins and minerals. Five Swiss chard cultivars were grown in the greenhouse under two light levels for 13 weeks to compare cumulative yields from weekly harvests, mineral composition, and to evaluate sensory attributes as a salad green. The varieties Large White Ribbed (LWR) and Lucullus (LUC) were the highest yielding in both light regimes. LWR was the shortest of the cultivars requiring the least vertical space. LWR also received the highest sensory ratings of the five cultivars. LWR Swiss chard should be considered as an initial test variety in food production modules.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beta vulgaris / chemistry
  • Beta vulgaris / growth & development*
  • Beta vulgaris / radiation effects
  • Ecological Systems, Closed*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Food Supply
  • Humans
  • Life Support Systems
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Nutritive Value
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development
  • Plant Leaves / radiation effects
  • Space Flight*
  • Taste


  • Minerals