NOV 19, 2021 3:00 PM PST

Space Taco: Nasa grows Hatch Green Chiles in space

WRITTEN BY: Timothy James

As someone who grew up in the state of New Mexico in the USA. I grew up eating green chiles in almost every meal. The tradition to grow these chili peppers spans hundreds, and even perhaps thousands, of years with indigenous peoples cultivating peppers. The states motto, “red or green,” refers to the pepper, and it can be heard in almost every restaurant serving traditional cuisine. Now, incredibly, the famous pepper has been grown aboard the International Space Station with help from high school and middle school students from Aztec, New Mexico.  A feat that let the entire crew of astronauts enjoy fresh green chilies in space -a sentence so cool I can’t even believe I’m writing it!

Suffice to say these chilies are integral to the New Mexican cultural experience. Once again Nasa has accomplished a feat once thought impossible, growing crops in space.

Nasa wants to grow more plants in space for subsistence and aesthetics and this isn’t the first time crops have been grown in space. Tomatoes, lettuce, and even flowers are grown in the “veggie” pod or VPS aboard the space station.  Each is relatively small, and can hold six plants. In a zero gravity environment plants grow in different ways and in directions commonly following available light. Much of what is grown is first tested in the Kennedy Space Center in Florida then sent to the ISS. So, while other plants have been grown in space, the chilies are the first time a more challenging plant was grown aboard the International Space Station. This was done to study how space affects the relationship between plants and microorganisms. A better understanding of this relationship is crucial to the future of space travel. Not doubt this discovery vastly improves the lives of astronauts aboard the ISS. I hope they enjoyed the tacos made with fresh flavorful ingredients. Before too long I bet they will have an entire salad bar!

 

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Hi Everyone! I am a paleontologist/archaeologist based in the Los Angeles area! I am passionate about conservation, sustainability, historic preservation, nature, and natural history.
You May Also Like
JUL 09, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Cluster of Free-Floating Planets Captured by Kepler Telescope
JUL 09, 2021
Cluster of Free-Floating Planets Captured by Kepler Telescope
The Kepler Space Telescope has captured evidence of mysterious free-floating planets, or planets that are alone in deep ...
JUL 18, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Climate Change has Tilted the Axis of the Earth
JUL 18, 2021
Climate Change has Tilted the Axis of the Earth
The axis of the Earth intersects the planet at the magnetic pole, and Earth's poles are known to wander. They can even f ...
JUL 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Hubble Spots Evidence of Water on Jupiter's Moon
JUL 29, 2021
Hubble Spots Evidence of Water on Jupiter's Moon
Scientists have spotted evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. The corresponding stu ...
AUG 16, 2021
Space & Astronomy
'Mega-Comet' on Track to Visit Solar System in 2031
AUG 16, 2021
'Mega-Comet' on Track to Visit Solar System in 2031
Astronomers at the University of Pennsylvania have found an object that's on a trajectory that will take it past Saturni ...
SEP 14, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
The World's Most Accurate Clock
SEP 14, 2021
The World's Most Accurate Clock
The world’s most accurate clock has taken the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Jun Ye, a physicist ...
NOV 12, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Researchers Reveal Changes in Jupiter's Spot
NOV 12, 2021
Researchers Reveal Changes in Jupiter's Spot
There's a massive storm on Jupiter called the Great Red Spot. It swirls in the planet's Southern Hemisphere, spinning co ...
Loading Comments...