Missing space tomato onboard International Space Station tomato found

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


It takes a village to raise a child – and it takes seven astronauts to find a missing tomato in space.

Frank Rubio, NASA Astronaut and US Army Lieutenant Colonel, became a pioneer when he grew and harvested one of the first tomatoes ever grown in space in March of this year.

But when it inexplicably went missing one day, people assumed he had eaten it.

“I was pretty confident that I velcroed it where I was supposed to velcro it,” he said during a NASA briefing after his time in space. “And then I came back, and it was gone.”

Rubio had just achieved the longest single spaceflight by an American, having been in low orbit around the Earth for 371 days.

“Rubio’s journey in space embodies the essence of exploration,” a NASA statement read, graciously forgiving Rubio for losing the fruit.


Astronaut Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency checks out the tomato plants growing onboard the International Space Station on Oct. 21, 2022.
Astronaut Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency checks out the tomato plants growing onboard the International Space Station on Oct. 21, 2022. Nicole Mann/NASA

Rubio grew the tomato on the International Space Station, a modular space station that collaborates with space agencies across the US, Japan, Europe, Russia and Canada.

The microgravity on the ship means that unrestrained items will often float away without control.

Rubio suspected that this happened with the tomato.

“I spent so many hours looking for that thing,” he said.

“I wanted to find it mostly so I could prove like I did not eat the tomato.”

“I’m sure the desiccated tomato will show up at some point and vindicate me, years in the future.”

Fortunately, he only had to wait a little over two months.

Members of the ISS revealed they had found it during a Wednesday stream celebrating the 25th anniversary of the station.


The microgravity on the ship means that unrestrained items will often float away without control. Mr Rubio suspected that this happened with the tomato.
The microgravity on the ship means that unrestrained items will often float away without control. Rubio suspected that this happened with the tomato. NASA / SWNS

“Our good friend Frank Rubio … has been blamed for quite a while for eating the tomato. But we can exonerate him,” said astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, who had arrived at the station in August.

The state of the tomato was not confirmed.



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