SPACE PEPPERS: NASA has successfully grown and harvested the first chile peppers in space.
NASA has recently announced astronauts on the International Space Station have successfully grown chile peppers in space. To celebrate the moment, they treated themselves to some delicious tacos.
As Daily Mail reports, the space agency stated the chile peppers were specifically grown for the Plant Habitat-04 investigation.
Happy pepper picking day aboard the @Space_Station!🌶️Today @Astro_Sabot gets the honor of harvesting the station’s first crop of chile peppers as a part of the Plant Habitat-04 study, one of the most challenging station plant experiments to date. https://t.co/f1LHkidhFn pic.twitter.com/dim8uHNZbs
— ISS Research (@ISS_Research) October 29, 2021
On Friday, October 29, NASA declared:
“The investigation involved microbial analysis to improve understanding of plant-microbe interactions in space and the crew’s assessment of flavor, texture, and nutrition of the first peppers grown in space.”
The space peppers are from the Española Improved chile and have been growing on the ISS since July.
The sort is a cross between the southern New Mexico Sandia chile and a landrace chile, found in the northern part of the state. It could be eaten during both its green and its red stages of development.
As NASA said previously, peppers are “more difficult to cultivate than many possible space crops because they take longer to germinate, grow, and develop fruit.”
Friday Feasting! After the harvest, we got to taste red and green chile. Then we filled out surveys (got to have the data! 😁). Finally, I made my best space tacos yet: fajita beef, rehydrated tomatoes & artichokes, and HATCH CHILE! https://t.co/pzvS5A6z5u pic.twitter.com/fJ8yLZuhZS
— Megan McArthur (@Astro_Megan) October 29, 2021
NASA has already cultivated Chinese cabbage, three types of lettuce, red Russian kale, and zinnia flowers in space. The special thing about chile peppers is that they can be easily pollinated. Besides, they can survive within a carbon dioxide-rich environment.
The Española chile pepper is the first fruit grown on the ISS in an effort to look for crops that astronauts could take to Mars. Their relatively short growth period makes them suitable for being harvested in space. Finally, astronauts can enjoy fresh food while away from Earth!