We have to admit that many of us enjoy chile peppers on our tables, but eating them over 400 kilometres above the ground isn’t actually our idea of a satisfying meal. However, NASA is ready once again to defy some expectations, as the space agency is currently growing chile peppers onboard the International Space Station.
The amusing news comes from NASA itself, and the astronomers on board the space station don’t seem reluctant about the new menu. While chile peppers are often consumed in many households on Earth, there seems to be no rational reason why you wouldn’t try them in space as well.
Monitoring the peppers’ growth is a “must”
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center even published a video explaining the new idea:
Part of the official presentation says:
Astronauts on station and a team of researchers at Kennedy will work together to monitor the peppers’ growth for about four months before harvesting them. This will be one of the longest and most challenging plant experiments attempted aboard the orbital lab. The crew plans to eat some of the peppers and send the rest back to Earth for analysis.
NASA said that the crew would be consuming the peppers and send some samples to Earth for analysis only if all the data indicates that they’re safe to eat. The astronauts will also give feedback on the flavour and texture.
The International Space Station flies around our planet every 90 minutes, as it travels at a speed of 5 miles per second. Over the period of 24 hours, the spacecraft makes 16 orbits of Earth.
A crew of six astronauts live on the ISS, and since the year 2000, the space station has been constantly occupied. The ideal scenario is to have three people living permanently on the station.