The initial tomato cultivated in space, which was misplaced 8 months ago, has been discovered by astronauts from NASA.

The initial tomato cultivated in space, which was misplaced 8 months ago, has been discovered by astronauts from NASA.

For many years, one of the biggest puzzles in the universe has been the vanishing of the first tomato ever cultivated in space.

That is, until this week, when the seven astronauts at the International Space Station announced on the 25th anniversary of the orbiter that they found the rogue fruit.

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli shared that they may have discovered something that had been sought after for a significant amount of time.

They have the distinction of having the longest duration in space, reaching a total of 370 days.

The red robin tomato was collected as part of a NASA project to cultivate crops in space for future long-term missions. Rubio expressed his pride, but unfortunately, he eventually lost track of the perishable food in space.

Astronaut Frank Rubio tending to tomato plants in the ISS

Frank Rubio, an astronaut, caring for tomato plants on the International Space Station.


“I believe I was the first to harvest a tomato in space and I placed it in a small bag,” Rubio shared during an interview with NASA in October. He mentioned that he eventually took the tomato out of the secure Ziploc bag to show some students, but then seemed to misplace it.

“I was certain that I had correctly fastened it with Velcro in the designated spot, but upon returning, it had disappeared,” explained the scientist.

Rubio mentioned that he spent roughly 18 to 20 hours trying to find the tomato, but was unable to locate it. He believed that the tomato would have dried out and become unrecognizable, possibly being thrown away by mistake.

Due to the lack of gravity in space, any object that is not properly secured or anchored is at risk of floating away. In the International Space Station, which is bigger than a six-bedroom house, there are likely many places where a rogue tomato could hide.

A red robin tomato on a vine in the ISS

A tomato plant, specifically a red robin variety, is growing on a vine inside the International Space Station (ISS).


After several months passed without the missing fruit being found, there were suspicions that Rubio had actually consumed the tomato. However, he continuously denied these accusations until it was eventually located.

In October, he half-jokingly mentioned that he hoped someone would eventually discover the tomato he left in a Ziploc bag, providing proof that he did not eat it in space.

Moghbeli acted swiftly to vindicate Rubio’s reputation following the announcement of the discovery.

She stated that our dear acquaintance, Frank Rubio, who left earlier, has been accused of eating the tomato for quite some time, but we can clear his name.

Moghbeli did not provide information on the location or state of the tomato. However, it is likely that it will not be used in a high-quality dish in the near future.