Pepper plants thrive aboard the International Space Station

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Four pepper plants growing in Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) aboard the International Space Station have grown several flowers last week since NASA astronaut Megan MacArthur shared photos of some of the first flowers in bloom.

These flowers turn into edible peppers that astronauts will taste later this year. bigger picture

A team of plant researchers from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center closely monitored the peppers as they bloomed and ran the APH’s internal fans at varying speeds to create a gentle breeze inside the chamber. growth to help pollinate the peppers.

The Plant Habitat-04 experiment is one of the most difficult plant experiments to date, in part because of the long germination and growth time of peppers. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough launched the experiment on July 12, and the peppers will grow for 120 days, with the astronauts harvesting the peppers in late October and then again in early November.

NASA is keen to learn how to grow crops in space, as fruits and vegetables can supplement astronauts’ diets with key nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin K, which explorers will need on future space missions. long duration.

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