NASA Astronauts on Space Station Combine Robot Tech and Natural Foods to Prepare for Mission to Mars

NASA astronauts on the International Space Station are training for the next mission to Mars by training to use food inside of the ISS. But the food they are currently preparing is for the…

NASA Astronauts on Space Station Combine Robot Tech and Natural Foods to Prepare for Mission to Mars

NASA astronauts on the International Space Station are training for the next mission to Mars by training to use food inside of the ISS.

But the food they are currently preparing is for the first space mission to Mars, which might be 20 years from now.

During a space walk, four astronauts from the ISS already ended their own winter freeze off by eating peppers grown on their own station.

Scott Kelly, Tim Kopra, Joe Acaba and Jack Fischer already experienced the freezing conditions of space for the experiment with several ice blocks attached to two of their feet.

But this was the first time they touched the peppers and the first time astronauts in the ISS were able to eat them.

“I feel so normal right now,” Fischer said. “This feels normal. And this is just so awesome. I feel so happy. I just can’t believe I’m so glad that it’s over.”

“It’s very cool to be living in space right now and being able to really do science that’s so critical to humanity,” Kelly said.

NASA astronaut Will Gruber and his wife, flight engineer Dutch Dockstaal, collaborated with scientists for a decade to create the peppers.

After the last cold snap was over, Kelly, who currently has a piece of ice stuck in his foot, offered the peppers to his crewmates as a treat.

“We were wondering if you would want some of this pepper sauce,” Kelly said. “If you just pour the pepper sauce over a piece of ice, it helps you freeze faster. As you can imagine, we were already pretty close to freezing.”

The first sip of the pepper sauce was a pleasant surprise. The crew members took a closer look at the peppers and really enjoyed the taste.

“We’re the first to eat peanuts,” Kelly said. “We’re the first astronauts to eat scallions in space. We’re the first astronauts to eat green beans on the ISS.”

“This is the first time in history that we’re able to eat these types of things. [NASA] has really helped to advance human spaceflight,” Fischer said.

The results of the experiment are set to return in 2019 after new bananas will be added and space helmets will be replaced with new gloves.

As far as the future of the mission to Mars, NASA is planning on launching a four-person mission to the red planet around 2024 with a potential move to two more trips to Mars by 2035.

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