Astronauts Grow Green Chiles on ISS to Make Tacos

Down here on Earth, it’s a novelty to eat freeze-dried space food. Most of us prefer the Neapolitan ice cream, but you can find everything from beef stroganoff to asparagus available to eat.

Freeze-dried foods don’t weigh much, which is an essential quality for blasting materials into space. Every extra pound equates to thousands of dollars in support work.

You’d then take a product like NutriDyn to ensure a complete nutrient profile is available when you’re in a zero-G environment. 

NASA astronauts were recently able to have their own Taco Tuesday with some hatch chiles they grew in space.

Both Red and Green Chiles Were Available to Eat

The recipe for the space tacos was relatively straightforward. Astronauts took some dehydrated beef, added some rehydrated artichokes and tomatoes, and mixed in the fresh chiles grown on the International Space Station.

Once the mix was complete, they stuck everything into a tortilla to have a special treat.

Astronaut Megan McArthur tweeted a picture of the unique tacos with the caption that they were the best ones she’s made since being in space. 

Although the fresh peppers were a treat, they came about because of some serious science. Studying how microbe and plant interactions occur in space makes it possible to grow nutritious food in limited spaces.

The fresh Hatch chiles join Chinese cabbage, kale, and lettuce as crops that astronauts could grow in orbit. With the more prolonged germination and growth times, the peppers are one of the most complicated plant experiments completed successfully.