American astronauts currently working on the International Space Station (ISS) have found a dwarf tomato fruit that was previously grown but then lost by their colleague Frank Rubio. The astronauts spoke about this during their last broadcast on December 7.
According to American astronaut Jasmine Moghbeli, their colleague and good friend Frank Rubio has long been “accused” of breaking down and eating a tomato grown in space. However, as it turned out, this is not true, because, as Ms. Moghbeli stated, the dwarf tomato was still found.
Journalists remind that the fruits of the miniature Red Robin tomato, whose diameter is no more than 25 mm, were previously grown on the International Space Station as part of the Ber-05 experiment. Frank Rubio was in charge of caring for the plant and fruit, but accidentally lost one of the tomatoes.
Samples of space-grown dwarf tomatoes were received by all astronauts on the ISS at the end of March 2023, but the package with the tomato intended for Frank Rubio was accidentally lost. A short search yielded no results.
Frank Rubio himself spoke about the curious incident during a broadcast from orbit in September 2023. At that time, the American astronaut had been on the ISS for 355 days. As Rubio noted, he spent more than one hour trying to find the lost tomato, but he was unsuccessful.
It is worth recalling that Frank Rubio, Dmitry Petelin and Sergei Prokopyev flew to the International Space Station in September 2022 on the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. It was assumed that their stay in orbit would last no more than 188 days. But at the end of 2022, the ship’s cooling system depressurized, so the astronauts were unable to return to Earth as planned—they remained in orbit for several more months.