‘Massively successful demo’: NASA’s chili-growing experiment on the International Space Station breaks two records


December 7, 2021 09:14 GMT

PH-04 became the longest running experiment in the history of the International Space Station, as well as the culture produced in space that allowed most astronauts to feed.

NASA’s experiment growing hot peppers in the orbiting laboratory of the International Space Station (ISS) has broken two world records, according to release Posted last week on their website.

The project Plant Habitat 04 (PH-04) became the longest running experiment in the history of the International Space Station, with Its duration is 137 days, as well as in the culture produced in space that allowed more astronauts to feed.

It all started last June, when scientists shipped 48 purified hot peppers from New Mexico Hatch to the International Space Station, where they were housed in a closed growth chamber called Advanced Plant Habitat (APH). On July 12, water was added and the experiment began.

what did you do?

Meanwhile, the astronauts removed all but four of the vegetation to give them enough room to grow. After several weeks, they bloomed and pollinated manually.

The first crop was harvested on October 29. Megan MacArthur, NASA astronaut and Expedition 65 flight engineer, Add pepper to tacos Prepared with fajita meat, dried tomatoes and artichokes. During the second harvest he sent 12 peppers to the ground and the rest of the crew consumed.

On November 26, Flight 66 engineer Mark Vande Hee harvested and sampled 26 types of hot peppers from the four plants grown on the International Space Station. “PH-04 advances significantly advanced technology in space crop production,” explained Matt Romain, the principal investigator for the project at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Upcoming Challenges

astronaut test "space studs" With the first pepper grown on the International Space Station

“The level of excitement about the first space and fashion nails was unprecedented for us,” he continued. “All indications are that some of the fruits were too hot, which is unexpected given the unknown effect that microgravity may have on capsaicin levels in peppers,” he added.

NASA’s upcoming experiments envision agriculture dwarf tomato And a study on new types of leafy vegetables. They also plan to grow small plantsLegumes and herbs are on the International Space Station in the near future.

“This test was very successful evidence that we are on the right track to be able to produce space crops,” said Romain, who explained that his goal is to produce viable and sustainable crops for future missions while humans explore the Moon and Mars.

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Lovell Loxley

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