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NASA is growing space Chile peppers on the ISS – and astronauts will taste them

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbo works with the Plant Hobbit-04 launch and a set of 48 hatch chili pepper seeds.



I’ve always been a little wary of the idea of ​​going into space, living in orbit, and staying away from love things like the New Mexico green chillies. But I can go now. NASA said in a statement on Tuesday that Chile is officially on the rise at the International Space Station.

As a PSA, we spell it “Chile” with “e” in New Mexico. Plants in the ISS are grown from Numex “Espanola Improved” pepper seeds, hybrid hatch chili pepper. The hatch represents a town in southern New Mexico and a state area famous for Chile.

This week, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbro added water to the Plant Habitat-04 (PH-04) launch to launch the seeds into orbit after they arrived on the SpaceX cargo ship in June.

Pepper is not an instant-satisfaction plant. It takes four months to see them through the crop. “This is one of the most complex plant experiments at the station to this day due to the long germination and growing times,” said Matt Romin, lead researcher at PH-04.

Here on earth, we eat hatch chillies in two ways. When the greens are harvested, we roast them on fire, peel and chop or use in sauces or recipes. Leave them on the plant and they will turn red. We usually dry the reds and then dry them for sauces and flavors.

The ISS does not have a chile roster, but it does pepper incubators. “The plan is for staff to eat some peppers and send the rest back to Earth for analysis, as long as all the data indicate that they are safe for staff to eat,” NASA said.

This is how we deal with Green Chile in New Mexico. Too much fire.


Amanda Kuzer / CNET

The astronauts give an opinion on the shape and taste, but the researchers compare the pepper grown in space to a batch grown back on Earth.

NASA is exploring ways to replace astronaut foods with fresh foods grown in space. The astronauts have already enjoyed some Microgravity salad from spinach grown at the station.

This is not the only important nutrition for astronauts. “We have found that growing plants and vegetables with colors and aromas can help improve astronauts’ well-being, ”Romin said.

In New Mexico, we already know the psychological and psychological benefits of eating chili peppers. We can now export our official state question to the ISS: “Red or green?” It’s okay to say “both”.


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