The first tomato grown in space, lost 8 months ago, was found by NASA astronauts

It was one of the greatest mysteries of the universe – the disappearance of the first tomatoes grown in space.

That is, until this week when the seven astronauts will be on the International Space Station Announce On the 25th anniversary of the orbiter they found the rogue fruit.

“Well, maybe we found something that someone has been looking for for a long time,” NASA astronaut Yasmine Moghbeli revealed.

Tomatoes were the first to be harvested and grown in space. It was planted in March by American astronaut Frank Rubio, who… Holds the record For the longest space flight of 370 days.

The red tomatoes were harvested as part of a NASA experiment Grow products In space for future long-range missions. Rubio said it was a proud moment, until the day he lost fresh, delicious food, a commodity, in space.

Astronaut Frank Rubio tends to tomato plants on the International Space Station
Astronaut Frank Rubio tends to tomato plants on the International Space Station

NASA


“I think I harvested the first tomato in space, and I put it in a little bag,” Rubio recalled in a NASA interview. in October. He said he ended up taking the tomatoes out of a secure Ziploc bag to show some students the precious produce, but then apparently lost them.

“I was pretty confident I had stuck it where I was supposed to stick it, and then I came back and it was gone,” the scientist said.

Rubio said he spent about 18 to 20 hours searching for the tomatoes to no avail, and assumed they were “so dried out that you couldn’t tell what they were” and might have been thrown in the trash by mistake.

Due to the weightless nature of space, any unsecured or untethered object is likely to float. And on the International Space Station, which is larger than A Six-bedroom houseThere must be a large number of good hiding places for the Lone Ranger Tomato.

Red tomatoes on a vine on the International Space Station
Red tomatoes growing on a vine on the International Space Station

NASA


In the months after the delicious item disappeared, some suspected that Rubio had actually eaten the tomatoes, a claim he denied until it was found.

“I hope someday someone will find it, a little thing melted in a Ziploc bag and they can prove the fact that I didn’t eat tomatoes in space,” he half-jokingly said in October.

Moghbeli was already quick to clear Rubio’s name after the discovery was announced.

“Our dear friend Frank Rubio, who is back home, has been blamed for a long time for eating tomatoes, but we can exonerate him,” she said.

Moghbeli did not provide details about where the tomatoes were found, nor what condition they were in. But it’s probably safe to assume it won’t be appearing in a gourmet meal anytime soon.

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