Science & Tech

A missing tomato has been found in space - yes, really

A missing tomato has been found in space - yes, really

Related video: Tomato festival leaves Spanish town covered in pulp

sololos/iStock/Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images

Astronauts who have spent eight months searching for a missing tomato on the International Space Station (ISS) can at last bear the fruit (sorry) of their labour, as the vanishing food has finally been found.

During an ISS livestream back in September, astronaut Frank Rubio explained he had spent “so many hours looking for that thing” and that he was “sure the desiccated tomato will show up at some point and vindicate me, years in the future”.

The tomato had gone awol after a food experiment and harvest in March. While other workers on the space station helped themselves to samples of the tomatoes following the harvest, Rubio’s share floated away in a Ziploc bag before he had the chance to enjoy them.

In October, a few weeks after Rubio landed back on Earth after just over a year in space (371 days) , Rubio revealed that he never did find the tomato during his time up in orbit, after saying he spent “18 to 20 hours of my own time looking for that”.

He continued: “The reality of the problem – the humidity up there is like 17 per cent – it’s probably desiccated to the point where you couldn’t tell what it was, and somebody just threw away the bag.

“Hopefully somebody will find it someday: a little, shrivelled thing.”

And find it, they did. reports that during a livestream on Wednesday, Nasa astronaut Jasmin Moghbell said: “Our good friend Frank Rubio, who headed home [already], has been blamed for quite a while for eating the tomato. But we can exonerate him.

“We found the tomato.”

It’s not the only bizarre bit of news to come out about space in recent days, as a scientific study has claimed octopuses are actually creatures from outer space, and a team of astronauts have discovered a 12 billion-year-old body of water floating in space.

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