The concept for Tomatosphere originated in late 1999 and the project held its first formal meeting on February 7, 2000. The project was formally activated when 200,000 Heinz tomato seeds went into space on November 30, 2000, with Canadian astronaut, Dr. Marc Garneau. Source: National Post (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1 Mar 2001, Page 72)
Canadian astronaut, Dr. Robert (Bob) Thirsk, displaying 1.2 million tomato seeds aboard the International Space Station. The seeds were returned to Earth and distributed to nearly 20,000 classrooms as part of the on-going Tomatosphere STEM education and outreach program. MEDIA CREDIT: Canadian Space Agency/
Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and former commander of the ISS, poses with 600,000 tomato seeds for the Tomatosphere™ project, which returned to Earth with Hadfield in May 2013 after orbiting Earth for 9 months aboard the space station. The seeds will be grown by classrooms across Canada and the United States. Credits: Canadian Space Agency/NASA
2015-04-18 - NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly poses with 600 000 tomato seeds for the Tomatosphere educational project. These space-faring seeds will be distributed to about 18 000 classes in Canada and the US during the 2016-17 school year. The seeds were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on board SpaceX’s Dragon on April 14, and will return to Earth on May 21. MEDIA CREDIT: Image courtesy of NASA
Astronaut Edward M. (Mike) Fincke, NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer, is pictured in the Zvezda Service Module of the ISS. A bag of tomato seeds for the Tomatosphere II Project floats nearby. MEDIA CREDIT: Image courtesy of NASA
Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques took a selfie with the Tomatosphere seeds during his mission to the international space station in 2019. These seeds were distributed (labeled with the letters N&P) to project participants in the spring of 2020 MEDIA CREDIT: Canadian Space Agency/NASA.