Behold, the space calabash!
The next time you sit down for some good old mi fan, see if you can catch a hint of the hidden flavor that’s long been lurking inside those beautiful puffy white pods — the taste of SPACE.
News yesterday out of the week-long 2011 Aerospace Engineering Breeding Forum revealed China’s planned acceleration of their space breeding crop program. The move will coincide with China’s 12th 5-Year-Plan of sending up over 100 future spacecraft and small satellite missions, some of which will be used to ferry seeds, reinforcing China’s place as the reigning space crop champion.
Space breeding has been China’s secret weapon since 1987 in the battle against Western GMO crops, in the “who can create the most preposterously large plant” contest. Since 2000, there have been 800,000 hectares of space rice fields planted and 8,100 hectares of space vegetables growing.
Just to clarify, they aren’t grown in space, but less awesomely on terrestrial fields planted with seeds that are retrieved from parachutes after having been sent into space.
The space breeding program has already had a number of success stories in cultivating such monstrosities as “160lb Chinese winter melons, chilli plants the size of small trees, 2lb tomatoes and 2ft cucumbers.”
Why does space make everything awesome? Scientists say micro-gravity, radiation, and zero-g environments create ideal circumstances for mutation.
The second that Audrey II comes bursting out of one of those pods singing about Seymour, however, is when we get the heck out of here.