NOV 17, 2015 10:48 PM PST

NASA is Now Growing Flowers on the International Space Station

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Soon, the astronauts that are currently aboard the International Space Station will get the chance to see some pleasant flowers growing in the microgravitational conditions of space.
 
Another experiment being conducted on the International Space Station right now is growing flowers, which is taking place after a successful test of the astronauts having grown their own lettuce and then eating it just three months ago.
 

U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly poses for a selfie with some space-grown lettuce.


The flowers, if everything goes according to plan, would start blooming by the new year, giving astronauts aboard the giant metal space station something organic and beautiful to look at for a change.
 
Most importantly, it’s not about the aspect of beauty, but about the learning process. It’ll give the scientists on board the International Space Station a chance to learn about the effects of space on plants that create flowers. If everything goes well, then it will be on the astronauts’ to-do list to try and grow tomatoes in space by 2017.
 
“Growing a flowering crop is more challenging than growing a vegetative crop such as lettuce,” said Gioia Massa, NASA Kennedy Space Center payload scientist for Veggie. “Lighting and other environmental parameters are more critical.”
 
NASA explains in a statement that the plants will be treated with different forms of light – red, green, and blue LEDs – and will be given water on a regular basis to ensure growth. The plants will then be allowed to grow for 60 days, which should be ample time for the scientists to grab the information they’re interested in and draw conclusions about future space plant growth experiments.
 
Getting fruits and vegetables to grow in space is a good thing, because it means astronauts could have access to healthier foods while in space rather than eating food that has been dried out and vacuum-packed to make it easier to transport into space. Instead, astronauts can bite into juicy, organic veggies that have been grown right in space without the need to have these heavier and bulkier food items shipped to them.

Another benefit is having something more self-sustainable, such that fewer food trips could be made, saving space agencies a lot more money that can be focused elsewhere, such as on longer-distance trips.
 
Perhaps in the near future, International Space Station astronauts will get the chance to chow down on a full plate of space-grown salads, and not just dry, vacuum-packed food.

Below, you can see the video from when astronauts aboard the International Space Station took their first bites of the lettuce grown on the station:
 


Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
Active Dogs Are Less Fearful But Breed is Also a Major Factor
AUG 24, 2020
Active Dogs Are Less Fearful But Breed is Also a Major Factor
Most dog owners are familiar with some common triggers of anxiety and fear in their pets, like new situations, loud nois ...
AUG 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Pheromone Molecule at the Center of Global Locusts Crisis
AUG 27, 2020
Pheromone Molecule at the Center of Global Locusts Crisis
Since earlier this year, agriculture and food production in the developing world have been taking heavy damages from an ...
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
SEP 10, 2020
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
Snails, marine and terrestrial, are likely primarily imagined to be attached to a substrate. However, under the waves, t ...
SEP 14, 2020
Plants & Animals
Preserving the Avocado
SEP 14, 2020
Preserving the Avocado
Rest easy, chips-and-dip lovers, the world's guacamole supply has been secured for future generations.
SEP 06, 2020
Technology
Can Math Determine The Sex of a Dinosaur?
SEP 06, 2020
Can Math Determine The Sex of a Dinosaur?
Can math tell us about the gender differences in dinosaurs? A new study published a novel statistical analysis that esti ...
OCT 11, 2020
Plants & Animals
Fungal Disease Affecting Snakes Is More Widespread Than Thought
OCT 11, 2020
Fungal Disease Affecting Snakes Is More Widespread Than Thought
A team of researchers and personnel on military bases have reported in a project in which they looked for an emerging fu ...
Loading Comments...