Seeds were brought to the ISS in June as part of NASA’s experiments to find out what foods could be grown in space. The experiment was probably to establish a possible food source for a long mission to Mars.
According to NASA, the first pepper was harvested on Friday.
NASA astronaut Megan McArthur tweeted on Friday that the crew tasted peppers and used them in tacos with beef and vegetable fajitas. She called them “the best space tacos ever”.
NASA said in July that pepper would grow for about 4 months as part of a investigation of Plant Habitat-04. He said the process was “the first time NASA astronauts grow chili peppers crops on station from seeds to maturity.”
According to NASA, the crew will eat chili peppers if they look good and save some to bring them back to Earth for research.
MacArthur said in a tweet that astronauts need to complete the surveys after tasting the pepper.
NASA says that growing food in space has a logistical advantage over taking packaged food out of the earth, and tending space crops can bring psychological benefits to the crew.
He said a journey away from Earth, including Mars, “could take months or years & have limited opportunities for replenishment missions.”