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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.

olegonioninstagram
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olegonioninstagram

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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