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NASA Astronauts Grow Chilli In Space Again: Here’s Why

This is the second batch of chili the astronauts aboard the ISS have grown.  (Image Credit: Twitter/ @NASAKennedy)

This is the second batch of chili the astronauts aboard the ISS have grown. (Image Credit: Twitter/ @NASAKennedy)

The astronauts grew chilli because they are high in vitamin-C and are spicy, which helps keep the astronauts' sense of smell and taste, which could get affected after living for long periods of time in microgravity.

NASA astronauts have successfully harvested a second batch of chili peppers on the International Space Station (ISS), the space agency has announced. This comes after the astronauts harvested the first batch of chilli on October 29. According to NASA, four pepper plants grew for 137 days in the ISS’ Advanced Plant Habitat as part of an experiment called Plant Habitat-04 (PH-04).

NASA’s principal investigator for PH-04 Matt Romeyn said that PH-04 helped in speeding up the crop production in space “significantly," with the crew learning to grow the first generally recognised fruiting crop in space within two years. ISS astronauts grew chilli as part of NASA’s Plant Habitat-04 (PH-04) experiment in which different kinds of food are grown inside of the international space station for consumption.

The chilli pepper seeds were sent to the ISS to be grown in an artificial environment earlier this year. The astronauts grew chilli because they are high in vitamin-C and are spicy, which helps keep the astronauts’ sense of smell and taste, which could get affected after living for long periods of time in microgravity, Matt Romeyn was quoted in a report as saying.

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first published:December 07, 2021, 09:11 IST