Science and Technology Daily, Beijing, July 22 (Reporter Zhang Mengran) According to a recent report by CNN, the United States intends to land on Mars in the 1930s, in order to cope with the lack of nutrition for astronauts in the future deep space journey. The problem, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is trying to plant a variety of plants in space, currently targeting the target — — pepper. If it goes well, the pepper will become the first plant to be planted and fruited on the International Space Station.
Currently, NASA is working to send a plant called Española to the space station for planting tests.
Planting crops in space still poses many challenges for scientists. NASA has planted lettuce, Chinese cabbage, and mustard. Space plants must meet two conditions, one is easy to pollinate, the other is to survive in a high concentration of carbon dioxide, and the peppers just have these characteristics. NASA scientist Jacob ·, who participated in the Mars mission, said that when he entered the NASA internship in 2018, the team of scientists was studying the possibility of planting Hatch peppers in New Mexico, but after some research, the team selected the last variety. It is Española chili.
The main reason is that Hatch peppers grow in the desert, while Española peppers grow at higher altitudes and have shorter growth periods, which is more suitable for planting in space. Although this pepper is often considered a vegetable, it can actually be classified as a fruit.
Torres said that according to the distance, it takes at least two years for humans to go to Mars. Previous space foods can fill the astronauts' stomach to a certain extent, but they cannot provide them with enough vitamins. Therefore, before the official launch of Mars, NASA scientists must find ways to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in space to balance the astronauts' diet. At present, the test results of Española peppers are beyond expectations, and it is expected to be officially opened in space from the end of this year to early next year.