Space station now home to a delicious sprouting onion

Onion breath could be a real issue on the International Space Station now that a cosmonaut has brought an allium on board.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Fresh vegetables are a luxury on the International Space Station, but the orbital salads are about to get an upgrade. There's now an onion sprouting a lovely green top in microgravity.

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev brought the onion on board for his stay. He arrived on March 23 along with two NASA astronauts. 

Artemyev tweeted a view Monday of his veggie treasure in front of a space station window with Earth as a backdrop. The onion doesn't seem fazed at all by its unusual location. The green tops can be chopped up and used like a seasoning.

This isn't Artemyev's first experience with sporting a sprouted onion in space. He brought an onion along during his last ISS mission in 2014. Along with his 2018 photo on Twitter, he also shared an older image of a space suit holding his previous onion companion.

Artemyev talked to Russian news service RT in 2014, saying "It's a real challenge. As soon as it starts growing and catches the eye of a crew member, everyone wants a taste." He says the onion is delicious.

You can see Artemyev's previous orbital onion in an Instagram post he shared in 2015.

Enlarge Image

This onion graced the space station in 2014.

Oleg Artemyev

The new onion looks a bit fresher and should be a perfect match for the ISS crops of space-grown lettuce

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