Astronauts grow chili peppers and eat hot tacos on the International Space Station

Tacos have conquered the world and now space too! And it is that a group of astronauts who are in the International Space Station (ISS) they made a taco from the chili peppers they grew there, which was one of the “most challenging experiments to date,” according to the scientists.

The astronauts ate “space tacos,” which had chili peppers originally grown in New Mexico; green and red peppers are part of the experiment Plant Habitat 04 (PH-4, for its acronym in English) developed by NASA, which began in July, to detect what are the difficulties of growing fruits and vegetables in space.

What is the Plant Habitat 04 experiment about?

The researchers grew the chilies, which took four months to harvest; a part was destined to the consumption of the astronauts and another portion will be sent to Earth to be analyzed in depth. Thes seeds grew inside a device called Advanced Plant Habitat (APH).

“The APH is the largest plant growth facility on the ISS and has 180 sensors and controls to monitor plant growth and environmental conditions,” explained Project Leader Nicole Dufour. Although this idea is not new, since NASA had already grown plants like radishes and lettuces, this was the first time it was made from seeds to maturity.

Do youWhy chiles? Well, because of their nutritional value, their easy handling in microgravity and because they are easy to harvest and eat. “Growing colorful vegetables in space can have long-term mental and psychological health benefits,” said Matt Romeyn, Principal Investigator of PH-04.

The expert added that when they spend a lot of time in space, their senses of taste and smell are affected, so they tend to eat spicy things to feel. “It is one of the most complex plant experiments on the ISS to date due to the long germination and growth periods,” NASA explained.


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