Astronauts have a taco taste test using first chile peppers grown in space

This is the first time chile peppers have been grown aboard the International Space Station.

(CNN)It's the space taco party of your dreams.

The International Space Station hosted a taco bash for astronauts on Friday as they celebrated the harvest of the first chile peppers grown in space. The crew finally had a chance to taste test the peppers after initially kicking off the plant experiment on the space station in July.
Plant Habitat-04 is one of the most complex plant experiments on the orbiting laboratory to date because peppers take much longer to grow than the previous experiments, which included various types of lettuce, flowering zinnias and even radishes.
    After growing for four months, the peppers were harvested on Friday by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei. Next, they were sanitized before the crew settled in to taste some of the red and green chiles and take surveys about the flavor and texture.
      Following the taste test, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur made her "best space tacos yet: fajita beef, rehydrated tomatoes & artichokes, and HATCH CHILE!" the astronaut shared on Twitter.
      NASA astronaut Megan McArthur shows off the tasty results of her new space taco recipe.
      Some of the peppers will be sent back to Earth for analysis, while the chile pepper plants continue to grow on the space station. The SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts, due to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida this month, will conduct a second harvest once they arrive.
      The rare fresh produce means more than just some dietary variety and excitement for the astronauts. The success of this experiment also has multiple scientific implications for the future of astronaut nutrition and long-duration space missions.
        And these mild peppers could turn spicier or milder depending on how much water they receive -- and how living in the absence of gravity, which is stressful for plants, impacts them.

        Growing plants in space

        Humans have been living and working on the space station for 20 years. The bulk of their meals are prepackaged, though sometimes astronauts receive fresh treats from resupply missions. Those care packages, however, will be much more limited on longer deep space missions, including traveling to the moon or Mars.
        The longer that packaged food is stored, the more it loses nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin K.
        So far, astronauts have successfully grown 10 different crops on the space station since 2015 and had the chance to sample each one.
        Peppers provide a great source of vitamin C, as well as other key nutrients, and these chile peppers tested well on Earth in environments simulating what the plants might experience on the space station.
        McArthur shared this photo showing the harvested crop.