To see if vegetables could be grown in space, astronaut Frank Rubio planted a tomato plant on the ISS space station. With success, the tomatoes grew and could be harvested earlier this year.
Due to a possible fungal infection, the astronauts were not allowed to eat the tomatoes immediately, but were given a few in a bag.
Rubio discovered that one of his tomatoes was missing. “One of the crew members was on a video call with some children on Earth and wanted to show the first tomato in space. I had secured the tomato with Velcro, I was sure of that, but when I went to grab the tomato again a little later, was that way.”
During a press conference, Rubio said he spent “eight to 20 hours of his free time looking for the tomato.” As an American, the astronaut has made the longest space flight ever. He was in orbit for about 371 days. Earlier this year he went home without a tomato.
Once back on earth, he continued his search. His colleagues were now joking and accusing him of having eaten the tomato. “I wanted to prove it wasn’t so.”
The seven crew members left behind searched for the missing tomato for months. Now, eight months later, the mystery has been solved. The tomato has been found. Where the fruit was found and what it looked like after months has not been revealed.
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