Astronauts are eating red and green peppers for the first time in space

The astronauts and cosmonauts currently living and working at the International Space Station have had a lot to do up here since their last scheduled spacewalk, and at 8 a.m. EST on Thursday, something new popped up: red and green peanuts, presumably made by a chef onboard the station.

The experiment would be the first of its kind on the ISS. NASA astronaut Lindsey Mueller, who is the mission specialist on Expedition 55/56, and cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin were onboard when they noticed the red peppers and green peppers and thought it might be something new. Mueller said, “Didn’t see them for a little while and they came up again and that’s when I knew what they were.”

At that point, however, they needed more background on why the peppers might be a good idea. ISS astronauts have tested a number of foods aboard the station, including a few during November’s Expedition 55/56, when they experimented with apples.

The green peppers at first seemed less appetizing than the red peppers, but when Mueller opened a can of green chili peppers, he noted that they exploded inside a sealed and space-like container, making him excited to try the peppers aboard the station.

But where are the red and green peppers from? According to Mueller, scientists in Houston believe that they are grown on Earth and flown in packaged parachutes to orbit. An espresso machine is already aboard, and the cooks aboard the station are interested in making an espresso bar available for use by astronauts on station as part of space tourism.

But what about the peanuts? The astronauts and cosmonauts on the space station eat protein powder after each meal, so this was a great way to introduce the ISS crew to space cuisine without having to step off the space station or into a commercial spaceflight. But, perhaps just as importantly, this was the first time that SpaceX and Boeing, who will be bringing the first crews to the ISS soon, have gone to the space station and prepared the pepper and rocket pepper recipes on their own.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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