The first fruiting plant NASA will grow in space

18-07-2019    01:45   |    Sophie Sherry and Saeed Ahmed/CNN

A team of scientists at NASA is working to launch the Española chile pepper into space. This would be the first fruiting plant the United States has grown and harvested at the International Space Station.

As NASA looks to send astronauts to Mars, it's crucial that the agency find plants and fruits that can travel with them.

According to Jacob Torres, a NASA scientist, depending on the alignment of the planets, the shortest trip to Mars would still take two years. Traditional prepackaged meals will not provide enough vitamins and nutrients for astronauts on the journey.

"They would be able to fill their stomachs up, but they wouldn't have the nutrients to do their work," Torres said.

Before NASA embarks toward the Red Planet, scientists must find ways to supplement the astronauts' diet with freshly grown fruits and vegetables, such as the Española pepper.

There are many challenges to growing crops in space. A plant must be easily pollinated and able to survive in a high-carbon-dioxide environment.

Scientists found that certain chile peppers can do both these things.

The Española peppers have exceeded expectations, he said. NASA is preparing to send the peppers off to the International Space Station between November and January.

Click here to read the complete article at CNN.

Photo credit: Jacob Torres/NASA

Comments (0)

No comments found!

Write new comment

More news