The astronauts are growing red and green chile peppers in space for what will be "one of the longest and most challenging plant experiments attempted aboard the orbital lab," NASA said.
Hatch chile pepper seeds arrived at the station in June aboard a SpaceX commercial resupply services mission.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, a flight engineer who helped grow "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce in space in 2016, initiated the experiment by inserting 48 seeds into the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) on July 12.
A team with Kennedy Space Center's Exploration Research and Technology programs planted those seeds in a device called a science carrier, which slots into the APH, one of the three plant growth chambers on the orbiting laboratory where the astronauts raise crops.
[...] Researchers spent two years evaluating more than two dozen pepper varieties and eventually landed on the NuMex "Española Improved" pepper, a hybrid Hatch pepper from New Mexico.
Romeyn said crew members may prefer spicy or seasoned foods because they can temporarily lose their sense of taste or smell after living in microgravity.
The peppers should be ready for harvest in about three and a half months. After eating some of them, the crew plans to send the rest to Earth for analysis.
Also at USA Today.
[Ed note] Apparently there are several variations on the spelling of chilli:
The chili pepper (also chile, chile pepper, chilli pepper, or chilli), from Nahuatl chīlli [...], is the berry-fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum which are members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae.