Trips to the International Space Station (ISS) have occurred far more frequently in the past few years. It makes sense then NASA would want it to try and be more self-sufficient, right? It appears we’ve gotten to the point astronauts there can make the “best space tacos.”
Last Friday, NASA astronauts harvested chile peppers for the first time on the ISS. Arriving and being planted at the space station during a SpaceX resupply mission in June, they were recently harvested. Naturally, one of the first things the astronauts there did was make killer tacos with them. Astronaut Megan McArthur tweeted about the special occasion.
“Friday Feasting!” she excitedly captioned the picture. “After the harvest, we got to taste red and green chile. Then we filled out surveys (got to have the data!). Finally, I made my best space tacos yet: fajita beef, rehydrated tomatoes & artichokes, and HATCH CHILE!”
Though astronauts can access freeze-dried foods and prepackaged meals, harvesting their own produce helps increase mission longevity, NASA reported about growing the chile peppers. Principal investigator for NASA’s Plant Habitat-04 experiment Matt Romeyn spoke about it in an official statement.
“The challenge is the ability to feed crews in low-Earth orbit, and then to sustain explorers during future missions beyond low-Earth orbit to destinations including the Moon, as part of the Artemis program, and eventually to Mars,” Romeyn said. Further, he states endeavors like this may help astronauts psychologically.
The chile peppers also aren’t the only things being grown there. The station’s Vegetable Production System has produced things like peppers for years. Previous produce included lettuce, cabbage, kale, and even zinnia flowers.
Interestingly, microgravity, light quality, temperature, and rootzone moisture affect flavor, so other types of food may taste differently if grown in space. Today tacos, tomorrow pizza?
Astronauts May Drive Motorcycles on the Moon in the Future
Growing crops and making tacos is one thing, but one company is taking it a step further. A motorcycle company designed a concept for a lunar-riding motorcycle.
German motor design company Hookie recently revealed their idea for a moon-treading motorcycle. “The Tardigrade Motorcycle is built to explore the moon’s surface and beyond,” the official website writes about it. “The passenger can carry different types of equipment and with a speed limit of 15km/h (9 mph) it has a battery range for almost 110km. A combination of ultra lightweight materials and changeable airless tire pieces allows the Space-Crew to tackle any obstacle on its mission. It was a vision with hurdles. But we proofed it.”
Though just a concept now, it premiered last month as part of the ADV: Overland exhibition in the Peterson Automotive Museum in California. Someday, maybe we’ll reach a point where we’ll be riding the motorcycle and eating space tacos at the same time.