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Astronauts grow first ever flower in space

Posted on Monday, 18 January, 2016 | Comment icon 9 comments

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: | Comments (9)

Tags: Flower, ISS

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin on 18 January, 2016, 19:01
Outstanding!! I guess I did not know that this wasn't done before. So, congratulations!
Comment icon #2 Posted by davros of skaro on 18 January, 2016, 19:04
I would have assumed they grew a Potato before at least. Good news.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Eldorado on 18 January, 2016, 20:06
Bravo. Well done, pilgrims!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Aitrui on 19 January, 2016, 1:47
My favourite colour too! Yay!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Astra. on 19 January, 2016, 3:12
Wow - that's pretty amazing - good for them
Comment icon #6 Posted by Astra. on 19 January, 2016, 3:14
My favourite colour too! Yay! Yep - it's a very pretty colour.
Comment icon #7 Posted by rashore on 19 January, 2016, 3:50
Well if they would have just let the lettuce bolt instead of eating it all, they could have had flowers sooner, lol. But this is still pretty darn neat, even if we don't know what cultivar of zinnia it is
Comment icon #8 Posted by schizoid78 on 23 January, 2016, 0:15
Wonder how radiation would effect plant considering all the talk about how we are lacking cosmic ray protection for humans. S
Comment icon #9 Posted by davros of skaro on 23 January, 2016, 8:22
Well if they would have just let the lettuce bolt instead of eating it all, they could have had flowers sooner, lol. But this is still pretty darn neat, even if we don't know what cultivar of zinnia it is Now I see the error in my post. First Flower...Duh!

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