If everything goes ahead, in November this year, the International Space Station (ISS) is about to become a bit more spicy.
Researchers hope to send the plants Española chili pepper ( Capsicum annuum), which can make the peppers the first fruits that are grown in space by American astronauts.
"We were looking for varieties that are not getting too high, yet they are very productive in the controlled environment that we would use in space," NASA physicist Ray Wheeler told Dylan Bid at Rio Grande Sun .
Astronauts often express a desire for more spicy and aromatic foods, so as if a bit hot aroma is also a good thing. Plus, many peppers are very rich in vitamin C
Although there are thousands of different types of hot peppers and astronauts have been selected in part because they grow at high altitudes, have a short growing period, and can be easily pollinated.
] Cosmonauts and cosmonauts have successfully grown plants in space stations since 1
At the ISS we have grown a lot of different vegetable vegetables, including lettuce, Swiss salad , radishes, Chinese cabbage, and peas
Here it is important to note that peas are a botanical part of the fruit, and the Russians have been growing it for years in the Russian segment of the ISS. However, so far no American astronaut has grown a fruit plant in space, which means that later this year, Española chili pepper may be the first.
Plants have a lot of problems with growing microgravity, as their root systems are complex. and usually use Earth's gravity to navigate on their own.
But the astronauts have successfully forced plants to grow on the ISS using special types of light and complement other techniques that help plants determine which path is up and down
In 2018 to The ISC has sent a new, almost self-sufficient growth system called the Advanced Plant Habit, which has joined the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) to help the crew produce fresh food.
Everything is important to NASA's ambitious plan to eventually send people to Mars. We are looking for somewhere between six months and a year to get to Mars, and as space pioneers are on their way, we can not easily give them more fresh food from Earth.
This does not even mention their stay on the Red Planet, and then the trip home. Cultivating your own food is quite a priority.
"We can build all the missiles we want to go to Mars, but it will not work if we do not have food to eat," Jacob Torres, NASA Gardening Scientist,
Researchers work on a variety of crops in space, especially by focusing on the presence of a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins.
"We need to grow enough to supplement the diet," Torres explained on CNN. "Just like here, on Earth, we can not live with the same thing."
"Imagine we have fresh pepper to eat after months of eating cardboard," he adds.