If you were an astronaut and they asked you to grow one sort of plant, what would it be? You may say potato, tomato or maybe apples. But did you know that NASA growing chili peppers in space?
On Oct. 29, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei completed the longest plant experiment in the history of the space station. When he picked the first historic chile pepper in the space after 137 days.
Today, NASA broke a new record with its chili peppers crop. This time for feeding the most astronauts from a crop grown in space.
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The goal for these experiments according to Matt Romeyn, chief investigator for the pepper experiment, is to enable viable and sustainable crop production. This would be helpful in long-duration missions to the moon and Mars in the future.
Romeyn shared his observations about plant growth “For the most part, the plants have grown similarly on the space station and on the ground, but there have been a few differences. For one, the peppers are delayed by about two weeks on the space station. We think this is caused by a delay in germination, probably related to fluid challenges in microgravity.”
Taco night in ISS was spicy after NASA astronaut and Expedition 65 flight engineer Megan McArthur added the peppers to fajita beef, rehydrated tomatoes, and artichokes
Dwarf tomatoes and new types of leafy greens are on the list of the next crop. After this huge success of the PH-04 experiment, the team at Kennedy Space Center will raise the level of challenge.