Recently, the longest plant experiment in the history of the International Space Station (ISS) came to an end, breaking records for plants grown on the floating laboratory.
A new blog post on the NASA website details the achievements made and states that on November 26 Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei harvested some 26 chilie peppers that were grown from four plants grown aboard the ISS's Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) for 137 days. Hei, along with other crew members, sampled the harvested peppers, which broke the record for feeding the most astronauts from a crop grown in space.
"PH-04 pushed the state-of-the-art in space crop production significantly. With this experiment, we took a field cultivar of a Hatch chile pepper from New Mexico, dwarfed it to fit inside the plant habitat, and figured out how to productively grow the first generally recognized fruiting crop in space - all in a span of a couple years," said Matt Romeyn, principal investigator for PH-04 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The peppers were added to a special taco meal created by Expedition 65 flight engineer Megan McArthur. The tacos included fajita beef, rehydrated tomatoes, and artichokes. 12 of the peppers have been prepared for a return trip back to Earth, and the remainder was eaten by the crew, who then provided feedback about the peppers.
For more information about this experiment, check out this link here.