July 13, 2024

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A happy ending for the lost “space” tomato

A happy ending for the lost “space” tomato

Astronaut Frank Rubio of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently shared the story of how tomatoes disappeared from the International Space Station (ISS), almost a year ago.

On the International Space Station, various types of experiments are constantly being conducted, including growing food in conditions of zero gravity, lack of natural light and water, etc., in order to develop optimal methods for producing fresh food for astronauts. Who will be making long trips.

X-Roots experience

Due to zero gravity, Rubio accidentally drops a tomato while harvesting in order to experiment with the Root In Orbit Test System (XROOTS), which supports growing plants without soil (2022).

When the Tomato Was Found/NASA

In an interview in October this year, Rubio said he was missing out on tomatoes while “a lot of people” accused him of eating them. Looking back, he recalls the incident: “I put (the tomatoes) in a small bag and one of my crewmates was having an event with some kids. I thought it would be nice to show it to our little friends. Then I was sure I had closed the bag but then I came back and it was gone.”

“I wanted to find it mostly so I could prove I didn’t eat it.”

He estimated that he spent between 8 and 20 hours of his time searching for the missing tomatoes, but to no avail. “I wanted to find it mostly so I could prove I didn’t eat it,” he said, explaining that he never did.

When the tomatoes were found…

Months after Rubio’s return to Earth, members of the “Mission 70” crew carried out this strange case. Nearly a year after the disappearance, two tomatoes (including Rubio tomatoes) were found “dried and slightly gone.” Meanwhile, NASA announced: “Other than some color change, there was no visible microbial or fungal growth.”

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Will these tomatoes return to the ground?

“The tomatoes found by the