Astronauts Grow Green Chile In Space & Make Out-Of-This-World Tacos

NASA astronauts grew New Mexico chile peppers on the ISS and harvested them in October.

Credit: @Astro_Megan / Twitter

A taco is a beloved meal in so many places all over planet Earth, and now they’re going somewhere not too many humans have had the ability to visit.

Space. There’s tacos in space.

Taco Tuesday in Space

Astronauts on the ISS sunk their teeth into a rare treat after harvesting peppers that have been growing on the ISS since July. The plants are from NuMex “Española Improved seeds — a hybrid Hatch chile. If you’re from New Mexico, or know anyone that lives in New Mexico, they’ve for sure mentioned the town of Hatch or have tried to throw Hatch green chile onto your food. The region in the state is known for its little green peppers.

Credit: @Astro_Megan / Twitter

Well, these NASA astronauts mixed in some weird science to go along with the snack.

“The investigation involved microbial analysis to improve understanding of plant-microbe interactions in space and the crew’s assessment of flavor, texture, and nutrition of the first peppers grown in space,” NASA said in a statement

Astronauts have grown lettuce and kale and Chinese cabbage in orbit.

NASA described the chile-fest as “one of the most complex plant experiments to date on station because of the long germination and growing times.”

The Plant Habitat-04 study on the ISS is one way NASA is looking ahead at keeping astronaut food interesting, engaging and nutritious for longer-term missions to the moon and Mars. The chile experiment is ongoing. The Crew-3 astronauts preparing to launch to the ISS this week will get to do a second harvest later in the month

Back here on Earth

Living in New Mexico at one point, there was always an important question to answer when ordering a dish or when asked by someone’s tia at dinner time.

“Red or green?”

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Matt Sterner

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