Astronauts cook delicious space fast food in orbit

In orbit, it was possible to grow a variety of chili pepper Hatch, which was used as the main ingredient for space fast food. NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, one of the seven crew members of the International Space Station (ISS), has prepared the “best space taco”. This Mexican dish was based not only on hot peppers, fully grown in zero gravity, but also beef, as well as rehydrated tomatoes.

The dish was called “the best space taco”. Photo: NASA

The astronauts were invited to taste some red and green chili peppers, and then talk about their taste impressions. This is important to assess whether the taste of vegetables has changed due to growing in zero gravity. Hatch peppers have grown from 48 seeds and are part of the Planet Habitat-04 experiment on growing food in conditions of long-term missions to the Moon and Mars.

Space taco. Photo: NASA

The “pepper-picking day” took place on October 29, 2021, according to the Twitter of the International Space Station. Just a few hours later, the freshly picked vegetables were used to make space tacos. According to the astronauts, the dish turned out delicious.

Hatch chili pepper grown in zero gravity on the ISS. Photo: NASA

Previous harvests included space-grown Japanese Mizuna mustard, radishes and several types of salads. The last harvest of chili pepper Hatch arrived on the ISS on June 5, 2021, as part of a commercial resupply mission SpaceX Dragon CRS-22. NASA announced the successful germination of pepper on July 13.

Planting 48 chili pepper seeds on the ISS. Photo: NASA

Coincidentally, the SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts, including McArthur, were still on board when the chili peppers matured. Initially, it was assumed that they would return home at the end of October, before the crops were ready. However, the deterioration of the weather at the site of the proposed landing forced the crew to stay in orbit.

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