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These tomatoes have been misplaced on the Worldwide House Station for nearly a yr

In an interview this fall following his return to Earth from the Worldwide House Station, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio shared a little bit mission that had us gripped: after he’d harvested one of many first tomatoes grown in house and bagged it up for a presentation, the bag and its contents went lacking. With no hint of the fruit, the opposite astronauts jokingly {accused} Rubio of consuming it. Then, eight months later at first of December, the misplaced tomato reappeared. A photograph shared by now reveals there have been truly two tomatoes within the rogue pattern — and, all issues thought-about, they don’t look half dangerous.

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Whereas a tomato left to rot on Earth isn’t a pleasing factor to return throughout, Rubio’s tomatoes simply look a bit dried out. “Aside from some discoloration, it had no seen microbial or fungal development,” NASA wrote in a weblog publish.

NASA has for years been experimenting with methods to develop meals on the ISS and finding out how the house setting impacts plant development. The crimson dwarf tomatoes have been grown as a part of a program referred to as the eXposed Root On-Orbit Take a look at System, or XROOTS, which makes use of a mix of hydroponic and aeroponic strategies as a substitute of soil. Rubio, who was on the ISS for a record-breaking 371 days earlier than his return in September 2023, harvested a batch of to be despatched again to Earth and examined for the VEG-05 research.

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As for the pattern Rubio hung onto, which he meant to point out to schoolkids in an occasion a crewmember had deliberate, the astronaut stated the tomatoes merely disappeared. “I used to be fairly assured that I Velcroed it the place I used to be imagined to Velcro it, after which I got here again and it was gone,” he stated. Rubio stated he spent “eight to twenty hours” searching for it, to no avail. Now that they’ve turned up (and since been thrown away), we’re simply dying to know the place they have been hiding all that point. We have reached out to NASA and can replace this story if we discover out any extra info.

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