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The Washington Post 19 July, 2021 - 06:00am 4 views

Astronauts on International Space Station are growing chile peppers in a first for NASA

CNN 19 July, 2021 - 04:01pm

Updated 5:50 PM ET, Sun July 18, 2021

NASA is growing chile peppers in space for the first time

The Hill 19 July, 2021 - 04:01pm

The Hatch chile pepper seeds arrived at the space station in June aboard a SpaceX commercial resupply services mission. 

NASA announced last week astronaut Shane Kimbrough, a flight engineer who launched to the ISS in April and has experience growing plants on the orbiting laboratory, kicked off the experiment by inserting 48 seeds into the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH). 

A team with Kennedy Space Center’s Exploration Research and Technology programs planted the seeds in a device called a science carrier that slots into the APH. 

When to see the International Space Station in the sky over the next week

Manchester Evening News 19 July, 2021 - 04:01pm

The International Space Station (ISS) will be viewable in the night sky over the next few days.

The world has been going space-mad recently, with Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos focusing their fortunes on developing space programs with varied success.

For the most part, you will have to stay up a little late to spot the ISS but it's definitely worth it for the stargazers among you.

The ISS will be visible from Greater Manchester on most nights between 10pm and 2am.

In April, the ISS is occupied by 11 people part of an international crew which is quite a large number relative to the ISS' average capacity of six people.

Eight of the 11 astronauts came from Elon Musk's SpaceX mission who arrived to the station via Space X's Dragon Capsules.

Currently, there are 10 people in space with astronauts from Russia, China, Japan, France, and America.

Three of the astronauts, Oleg Novitskiy, Mark Vande Hei, and Pyotr Dubrov have spent 101 days in space so far.

The ISS orbits the Earth every 90 minutes travelling through 16 sunrises and sunsets in the space of 24 hours.

Thursday, July 22, 1:15 am, 1 min (appears 10° above W, disappears 15° above WSW)

Thursday, July 22, 10:51 pm, 7 mins (appears 10° above W, disappears 11° above ESE)

NASA astronauts are spicing up the International Space Station — by growing chile peppers on board for the first time

CBS News 19 July, 2021 - 08:15am

NASA announced last week that astronauts aboard the International Space Station are growing red and green chile peppers for the very first time. Hatch chile pepper seeds arrived at the station in June, thanks to a SpaceX commercial resupply services mission. 

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who launched to the ISS in April, initiated the experiment, dubbed Plant Habitat-04 (PH-04). He's grown plants on the orbiting laboratory before, snacking on "outredgeous" red romaine lettuce in 2016. 

A team of researchers at the Kennedy Space Center planted 48 seeds in a device called a science carrier, which has clay for roots to grow in and a specially formulated controlled-release fertilizer. The device slots into the Advanced Plant Habitat, one of three plant growth chambers onboard. 

"The APH is the largest plant growth facility on the space station and has 180 sensors and controls for monitoring plant growth and the environment," said project manager Nicole Dufour. "It is a diverse growth chamber, and it allows us to help control the experiment from Kennedy, reducing the time astronauts spend tending to the crops."

The peppers will spend about four months growing before they can be harvested and eaten, marking the first time astronauts have cultivated peppers on the station from seeds to maturity. If data indicates the peppers are safe, the crew will eat some of them and send the rest back to Earth for analysis. 

"It is one of the most complex plant experiments on the station to date because of the long germination and growing times," said principal investigator Matt Romeyn. "We have previously tested flowering to increase the chance for a successful harvest because astronauts will have to pollinate the peppers to grow fruit."

Astronauts grew the first flower on the ISS in 2015 and 2016, the predecessor to longer-duration, fruit-bearing, flowering crops like peppers. The NuMex 'Española Improved' pepper, a hybrid Hatch pepper, was selected after more than two years of research into dozens of pepper varieties in search of the perfect space crop. 

"The challenge is the ability to feed crews in low-Earth orbit, and then to sustain explorers during future missions beyond low-Earth orbit to destinations including the Moon, as part of the Artemis program, and eventually to Mars," Romeyn said. "We are limited to crops that don't need storage, or extensive processing."

Scientists hope the crop will help to supplement astronauts' diets on future missions, providing much-needed Vitamin C and other nutrients. Additionally, due to living in microgravity, astronauts can lose some of their sense of taste and smell — upping the demand for spicy or seasoned foods. 

"Growing colorful vegetables in space can have long-term benefits for physical and psychological health," Romeyn said. "We are discovering that growing plants and vegetables with colors and smells helps to improve astronauts' well-being."

Researchers will monitor the growth of the peppers and compare them to a control group on Earth. They plan to collect crew feedback on the peppers' flavor and texture, as well as Scoville measurements.

"The spiciness of a pepper is determined by environmental growing conditions. The combination of microgravity, light quality, temperature, and rootzone moisture will all affect flavor, so it will be interesting to find out how the fruit will grow, ripen, and taste," said team lead LaShelle Spencer. "This is important because the food astronauts eat needs to be as good as the rest of their equipment. To successfully send people to Mars and bring them back to Earth, we will not only require the most nutritious foods, but the best tasting ones as well."

Sophie Lewis is a social media producer and trending writer for CBS News, focusing on space and climate change.

Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

In a NASA first, astronauts are growing chile peppers on the International Space Station

USA TODAY 19 July, 2021 - 08:10am

Astronauts on the International Space Station are growing red and green chile peppers in a first-time experiment, according to NASA.

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A wobble in the moon's orbit cycle could cause devastating flooding in the US next decade, according to a new NASA study. Video Elephant

Astronauts on the International Space Station are adding something spicy to their diet: red and green chile peppers.

Chile peppers from Hatch, New Mexico, arrived at the station in June as a part of an experiment initiated by astronaut Shane Kimbrough, NASA said

Kimbrough, part of the seven-member Expedition 65 crew, grew and ate "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce in 2016.

“It is one of the most complex plant experiments on the station to date because of the long germination and growing times,” Matt Romeyn, principal investigator for PH-04, said in a NASA news release.

A team with the Kennedy Space Center’s Exploration Research and Technology programs planted the seeds in a science carrier that slots into a plant growth chamber, the Advanced Plant Habitat, on the orbiting laboratory where astronauts raise crops, according to NASA.

The astronauts will have to wait before taking a bite. The peppers take four months to grow, and astronauts will have to harvest them a final time before being eaten. 

The crew plans to eat some of the peppers and send the rest back to Earth for analysis if it is shown that they are safe to eat.

“We have previously tested flowering to increase the chance for a successful harvest because astronauts will have to pollinate the peppers to grow fruit,” Romeyn said.

In late 2015, astronauts grew zinnias on the station, a precursor to flowering crops that take longer to grow, such as peppers.

Because of microgravity, crews at the station can lose some of their sense of taste and smell and may prefer spicier or seasoned foods, Romeyn said.

“Growing colorful vegetables in space can have long-term benefits for physical and psychological health,” Romeyn said.

"To successfully send people to Mars and bring them back to Earth, we will not only require the most nutritious foods but the best tasting ones as well.”

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© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

To boldly go, no more? Russian ISS cosmonauts may soon be prevented from leaving station as spacesuits approach end of warranty

RT 19 July, 2021 - 07:13am

That’s according to Sergey Pozdnyakov, the general designer of Zvezda, a Russian producer of life-support systems for human spaceflight. The current outfits, named ‘Orlan’, are created by his company.

Speaking to news agency RIA Novosti, Pozdnyakov blamed “the bureaucratic swamp” for the lack of new spacesuits, explaining that the sheer number of required approvals means that prompt production is impossible.

He also noted that the delay in ordering the suits means that the price has gone up, as some of the material supplies no longer exist.

Russian astronauts have been wearing Orlan spacesuits since the 1970s, with the current version, the Orlan-MKS, in use since 2017. The newest models are designed to last for 20 spacewalks.

Later this month, a brand-new module named ‘Nauka’ will arrive at the ISS. According to Pozdnyakov, attaching the new component will require around 10 spacewalks, taking up half of the life of the existing suits, which have been partially used up already.

Earlier this year, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin revealed that Moscow would withdraw from the ISS project in 2025 and create its own space station if the US continued to impose sanctions against the Russian space sector. President Vladimir Putin has already signed off on a project for a Russian-only orbital station, due to consist of three to seven modules.

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Space Spice: NASA astronauts grow 'Chile Peppers' in a bid to imporve the ISS crew's diets

Times Now 17 July, 2021 - 10:43pm

Looks like the International Space Station is going to spice things up!

The NASA astronauts aboard the ISS are growing Chile peppers nowadays as part of the food crop production experiment that the agency is carrying out. 

The variety of peppers that are being grown at the moment are the NuMex 'Espanola Improved' Seeds that are hybrids of the actual Hatch chile peppers. They are planted in Plant Habitat-04 (PH-04) after they arrived in June on a SpaceX. 

Kennedy Space Centre's Twitter page shared a video of one of the astronauts named Shane Kimbrough is seen adding water to it. It has gotten over 9000 views on the microblogging site. Take a look. 

In a matter of just 4 months, the harvest will be available for the ISS crew to consume in delicious snacks that can be made with it. "It is one of the most complex plant experiments on the station to date because of the long germination and growing times," principal investigator named Matt Romeyn said in the above-shared video. 

Before they will be used in food, the astronauts will do a trial run by eating the chilies. Then, they will be sent back to earth for analysis. The astronauts will give feedback on the texture and flavor and the researchers will also compare the chilies grown in space with that of the ones sent back to earth to flourish. 

Earlier, the astronauts in the space stations have also eaten microgravity salad with lettuce grown there. The addition of the delicious peppers, will enhance their diet and bring about some more flavor as well. 

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How to Watch Russia Launch New Module for the ISS This Week | Digital Trends

Digital Trends 17 July, 2021 - 02:00pm

NASA will be livestreaming both the launch of the module this week as well as its eventual docking with the ISS, and we’ve got all the details on how you can watch along at home.

The module will be launched on a three-stage Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, July 23.

To make space for the new module, the old Pirs docking module will be removed. To do this, on Friday, July 23, the uncrewed Progress 77 cargo spacecraft will dock with Pirs, and then, still attached to the Pirs module, will undock from the station. Both the Progress 77 and the Pirs module will then be placed into a deorbit maneuver so they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

After a testing period, the new Nauka module will then dock with the station.

“The Nauka module will be located at the nadir port of the Zvezda Service Module and is intended for the implementation of the Russian program of scientific and applied research and experiments,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

“After the commissioning of the new module, the Russian segment will receive additional volumes for the workplaces and storage of cargo, places for water and oxygen regeneration equipment, improve the conditions of cosmonauts’ stay, as well as increase the safety of the entire ISS crew.”

The launch and docking of the new module will be livestreamed by NASA. You can watch along at home, either by using the video embedded at the top of this page or by heading to NASA’s website.

Coverage of the launch begins on Wednesday, July 21 at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT), with the launch scheduled for 10:58 a.m. ET (7:58 a.m. PT).

Once the module arrives at the space station, it will spend eight days in which is called “free-flight,” without docking with the ISS, to allow engineers on the ground to check that everything is operating as it should. If all is well, the module will then attach to the space station in an automated procedure.

The docking of the module to the ISS is scheduled for Thursday, July 29. Once again, the event will be livestreamed by NASA, with coverage beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET (5:30 a.m. PT).

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