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The historic moment NASA astronauts made chili tacos in space

The beef taco fajita included (Image: NASA)

when you think of What do astronauts eat?The first image that might come to mind might be a type of food that is tasteless and highly processed. However, images recently released by NASA showed that it doesn’t necessarily work that way.

It was through her Twitter account, where the international organization shared some of its results plant habitat study 04, Which consists of harvesting seeds Chili’s Hatch grown inside the Kennedy Center Space Station.

According to NASA, Pepper grows for four months, effective July 2021. According to the laid down plan, The crew will eat some of this food and the rest will be sent to Earth to be analyzed.

The challenge is to be able to feed the crew in LEO and then from keeping explorers during future missions beyond LEO to Destinations like the moon, as part of the Artemis program, and eventually to Mars,Matt Romain, PH-04 Principal Investigator at NASA. “We are limited to crops that don’t need storage or a lot of processing.”

The astronauts celebrated the results obtained (Image: NASA)
The astronauts celebrated the results obtained (Image: NASA)

Thus, upon completion of the specified period, the NASA notes that seven hot peppers have been harvested. But the astronauts didn’t just eat it that way, because they decided to prepare Some Mexican tacos in the breadth of space.

Astronaut Megan MacArthur shared the progress of the study on her Twitter and celebrated that the results so far have been favorable.

“Friday party! after harvest We tried the red and green peppers. Then we complete the surveys (I have to get the data!). Finally, hIce my best tacos so far: Beef, Tomato & Artichoke Fajitas Moisturize, hatch chile! “, pointed out.

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According to NASA, peppers are among the most difficult vegetables to harvest in space, with long germination periods (10-14 days), growth of 90-120 days and other periods of development.

They made several videos with chili peppers (Image: NASA)
They made several videos with chili peppers (Image: NASA)

Also, weeks before the harvest, MacArthur asked his followers what they considered the best way to taste pepper.

Our culinary options are limited, but Do you think we should try it straight from the plant or first heat it in our oven at 180°F? ‘, he noted.

In addition, when the experiment began, the space agency added that growing chili peppers was a good option because they are vegetarian and rich in vitamin C and other nutrients.

    It is a vegetable rich in vitamin C and other nutrients.  (Image: NASA)
It is a vegetable rich in vitamin C and other nutrients. (Image: NASA)

“Growing colorful vegetables in space can have long-term mental and psychological health benefits,” Romain said. “We are discovering that growing plants and vegetables with color and aroma helps improve the well-being of astronauts. “

Primarily, Kennedy Center researchers 48 seeds of this hot pepper were sterilized and grown in the scientific base, which consists of baked clay so that roots can grow there and a controlled fertilizer created specifically for peppers.

The aim of the study is to be able to better feed astronauts (Image: NASA)
The aim of the study is to be able to better feed astronauts (Image: NASA)

“The seasoning of pepper is determined by the environmental conditions of cultivation. The combination of microgravity, light quality, temperature and humidity in the root zone will affect the flavor.“It will be interesting to see how the fruit will grow and ripen and what it will taste like,” said Lachelle Spencer, science team leader for the PH-04 project.

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“This is important because The food astronauts eat should be as good as the rest of their gear. In order to be successful in sending people to Mars and back to Earth, we will not only demand nutritious foods, but also better tasting foods.”

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