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Mystery of first tomato ever grown in space that went missing has finally been solved
Featured Image Credit: NASA

Mystery of first tomato ever grown in space that went missing has finally been solved

After eight long months, the first tomato grown in space has been found

Misplacing something is a pretty easy thing to do, but it’s usually in your home or on your person.

But if you lost something that wasn’t even on Earth?

Now, I know it sounds ridiculous, but this has actually happened - recently, too.

Does anyone remember the story that broke eight months ago about the first tomato ever grown in space?

Well, this tomato was also lost, somehow.

However, it’s finally been found by NASA astronauts.

When seven astronauts at the International Space Station were floating around, doing what astronauts do, they happened across the rogue fruit on the 25th anniversary of the orbiter.

A tomato was grown in space.

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli went on to reveal the finding: "Well, we might have found something that someone had been looking for for quite awhile."

There’s a lot of significance surrounding this tomato, as it was the first to be harvested and grown in space.

It was only back in March of this year that it was grown by American astronaut Frank Rubio, who also boasts the record for longest spaceflight at 370 days.

So, now he has two records, one for spaceflight duration and another for growing fruit in space.

As part of an experiment to grow produce in space in preparation for longer missions in the future, this red robin tomato was a proud moment for Rubio, until he lost it in space.

Recalling in a NASA interview, Rubio disclosed: "I harvested, I think, what was the first tomato in space, and I put it in a little bag."

It was safe in the bag until he took it out to show students his achievement, and then went on to misplace it.

He said: "I was pretty confident that I Velcroed it where I was supposed to Velcro it, and then I came back and it was gone."

NASA finally found the missing fruit.

After spending up to 20 hours searching for the tomato, Rubio came to the conclusion that it would have ‘desiccated to the point where you couldn't tell what it was’ or had been thrown in the trash.

Due to the aerodynamics in space and lack of gravity, anything that isn’t secured is bound to float away.

But the loss of this tomato brought about some conspiracies, namely that Rubio had chomped it himself, which he denies.

He joked in October: "Hopefully somebody will find it someday, some little shriveled thing in a Ziploc bag and they can prove the fact that I did not eat the tomato in space."

Moghbeli was also quick to help Rubio out in dispelling the rumour when she announced the finding: "Our good friend, Frank Rubio, who headed home, has been blamed for quite awhile for eating the tomato, but we can exonerate him.”.

Though it isn’t known where and how the tomato was found, at least it’s back to where it belongs and safe in the care of NASA.

Topics: News, NASA, International Space Station, Science, Technology