The flower was grown by astronauts on the space station. Image Credit: NASA / Scott Kelly
The botanical breakthrough was revealed by astronaut Scott Kelly on his Twitter account at the weekend.
Growing things in zero-gravity can be a difficult task, but now following months of experimentation the vegetable garden aboard the International Space Station has produced the first ever flower grown in space - an edible species called orange zinnia.
The achievement is significant because it offers the possibility of growing enough food to sustain a future manned mission to Mars where supplies from Earth would be severely limited.
In addition to the practical benefits, behavioral psychologists believe that growing plants can also provide a substantial psychological boost for astronauts during long space voyages.
"While not all crew members may enjoy taking care of plants, for many, having this option is beneficial," said NASA scientist Alexandra Whitmire.
"Plants can indeed enhance long duration missions in isolated, confined and extreme environments - environments that are artificial and deprived of nature."
Source: News.com.au | Comments (9)