We finally have photos of NASA’s tomatoes lost in space, and surprisingly enough, there are two.
NASA Posted footage of two small tomatoes that were lost in 2022 after astronaut Frank Rubio harvested them aboard the spacecraft. International Space Station. The discovery opportunity in the six-bedroom complex showed us how the ship’s 17% humidity on board affects food in a Ziploc bag; Rubio temporarily stored food inside and found it floating away in the meantime.
“Although nearly a year had passed since the tomato’s initial disappearance, the fruit was found in a dried and slightly mashed plastic bag,” NASA officials said. Written in the update Thursday (December 14), without revealing the exact location where he was found. “Other than some discoloration, there was no obvious microbial or fungal growth.”
Rubio had previously only alluded to one missing tomato, which NASA has now said was grown as part of an in-orbit root test system or X Roots trial in 2022 (not VEG-05 in 2023, as previous media coverage suggested.) “The trial uses hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow plants without soil or other growth media and could provide suitable plant system solutions needed for the future.” space The agency added that exploration missions.
Related: Astronauts on the International Space Station find tomatoes that have been lost in space for months (video)
While the discovery was a fun moment for Rubio, who has since returned home from his one-year mission, NASA added that the real purpose of growing food on the ISS is to practice techniques that could be used in the future. moon And Mars exploration. There is more than one experiment looking into providing astronauts with fresh food.
VEG-05 was testing the production of dwarf tomatoes and other foods, while the more recent Planet Habitat-03 “is one of the first multi-generational plant studies aboard the space station that can help researchers evaluate whether genetic adaptations in a single generation of plants “Planted in one space can move on to the next.” (Habitat-03 is currently packed on board A SpaceX the Dragon Spaceship waiting to return to Land Later in the month; Unfortunately, the most popular XROOTS tomato has been eliminated.)
There are intangible benefits to space food, too. NASA officials added, “The benefits of growing plants in space do not stop there.” “Astronauts report that there are psychological benefits to the time they spend gardening, which increases their quality of life in space, and boosts their morale.”
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