Just at the end of last year, astronauts aboard the International Space Station were sharing photos and videos of their space-grown lettuce, and of themselves eating it for the first time. The trials showed that it was possible to conduct gardening in micro-gravitational conditions.
Now, International Space Station astronauts have taken things a little further. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared the following image on social media this weekend showing a fully-bloomed flower that had been grown on the International Space Station:
The flower is that of an orange zinnia, and its bloom is as beautiful as you could ever wish for out of a space-grown flower.
The gardening going on aboard the International Space Station is just one of the major experiment tasks that International Space Station astronauts are tasked with. It’s an important step in finding out what kinds of plants can be grown in space without the Earth’s natural resources, because some day, this kind of engineering will be required for deep space missions.
When NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren returned to Earth last year, Scott Kelly took his place as the main gardener on the International Space Station, and he’s been overseeing the plant-growing experiments ever since.
Over the past several months, tons of problems ranging from high humidity to being too dry have affected the plants’ ability to grow, and it would appear that mid January, they’ve found a happy median to make growth of these plants possible.
As the success of experiments continue, new supplies will be shipped up to the International Space Station, presumably more complex fruit and vegetable plants that will assist in feeding the astronauts with healthy, fresh food instead of vacuum-sealed food packets.
Source: Scott Kelly