Yonatan Winetraub, 35, is one of the three founders of SpaceIL, an Israeli nonprofit. He has teamed up with NASA to focus on growing chickpeas in space. Chickpeas are a superfood, easy to grow and mature quickly. On February 19, Winetraub and a team of scientists and engineers from Israel and Stanford University are sending 28 chickpea seeds in a small greenhouse to the American side of the International Space Station. They will attempt to germinate and grow remotely for one month and then refrigerated until they're June return to earth. Winetraub has enlisted middle and high school students in 1,000 Israeli classrooms to grow chickpeas in boxes they constructed. They will compare growing chickpeas with gravity versus those in space without it. Some high school students from Yeruham Science Center in southern Israel will remotely manage the plant's growth in space with wavelengths of light. The challenge, said Winetraub, is not just how to grow as many chickpeas as possible, but how to control the way they are grown so that we maximize our limited resources. The more we learn to grow food with fewer resources, the more prepared we will be for the challenges that await us on earth as well. If all goes according to plan, could astronauts feasibly make hummus in space with their germinated chickpeas? Winetraub is hopeful the answer is yes. We are working on it! he said.

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