Why was chili chosen to grow experimentally on the ISS space station?

Why was chili chosen to grow experimentally on the ISS space station?

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2021-07-26 23:48:00

The latest crop to be tested on the International Space Station (ISS) is chili. Red and green peppers in the form of Hatch pepper seeds have been sent to the ISS. It has now been planted to serve meals for astronauts in the next few months. This is part of NASA’s Plant Habitat-04 (PH-04) experiment.

Experiment performed with 48 Hatch pepper seeds in Advanced Planetary Habitat (APH). It will take about a few months to develop before fruiting. As noted by a representative of the Kennedy Space Center, this will be one of the longest and most challenging plant experiments in the orbiting laboratory.

The chili was chosen after extensive testing with many options. Chili peppers contain many nutrients like Vitamin C, do not require much processing and they are simply quite stimulating to the taste buds.

According to project researcher Matt Romeyn, astronauts tend to gradually lose their sense of smell and taste. This is a temporary side effect of living in zero gravity. Therefore, foods like chili are ideal for re-stimulating their taste and smell.

Why was chili chosen to grow experimentally on the ISS space station?  - Photo 2.

The first growth test of crops grown in the Advanced Plant Environment on the International Space Station (ISS) has yielded excellent results. Seeds of Arabidopsis (flowering genus in the cruciferous family) have grown in about six weeks and dwarf wheat in five weeks.

Romeyn shared: “Growing colorful vegetables in space can have long-term benefits for physical and psychological health. We’ve found that growing plants and vegetables that have color and smell improves health. of astronauts”.

This experiment was initiated by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. He was also one of the astronauts who grew and consumed lettuce on the ISS in 2016. It was the “Outredgeous” romaine red lettuce.

Kimbrough is a member of the seven-member Expedition 65 crew, which was launched to the ISS in April 2021. He is currently the commander of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission that will last about six months.

Refer to Slashgear

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