Astronauts have to eat the same boring food over and over while in space or on the orbiting lab. Now NASA has come up with an idea to avoid this problem altogether. The American space agency plans to blast Mexico chili pepper plants in space in the year 2020. By this move, NASA aims to improve the quality, and the variety of meals the astronauts consume in the space. Also, this could offer a perspective of growing food on other planets.
It would be the first-ever project of growing chili pepper plants on the space station. But this is not the first time they are growing the food at the orbiting lab. NASA astronauts consumed lettuce in 2015; even more, they created zinnia in 2016. Apart from this, in 2003, Russia had produced peas on the space station, much time before NASA started its projects. Several peppers are high in vitamin and astronauts have spoken about the desire to eat delicious food being in space. Hybrid chili plant has a shorter cycle of growth, takes less space, and don’t grow very tall hence selected for a project in march 2020. By eating something fresh in space could help in boosting the morale of astronauts. They would get to eat something different that will help them stay in space for a long period of time.
Also, it is one of the ways to supplement our diet. This research project would be quite useful in understanding how to fulfill the diet requirements of astronauts when in space for a prolonged period, such as when visiting mars. At the ISS, astronauts will grow the plants in controlled conditions and supply an adequate amount of humidity, carbon dioxide, and light, as these are absent in space. The project will demonstrate how to grow fruiting plants such as chili pepper. Another reason for selecting this plant is it tastes best even before ripening. During the ripening process of the fruit, chili pepper, changes its color from green to yellow, which turns red at the end.