Astronauts Are Growing Zinnia Flowers on the ISS

/ 8 years ago

zinnias iss flower

You don’t have to be a botanist to figure out that it’s incredibly hard to grow plants in space, but if we want to have an actual shot at growing something on Mars one day, we need to find some ways to overcome the main obstacles. Fortunately, it looks like we’re making great progress, as an astronaut named Scott Kelly has managed to save a couple of zinnia plants that were withering away on the International Space Station. The initial project faced a series of challenges, particularly when the seed containers started to leak water and when the leaves started to bend and curl unnaturally.

After Scott took over, he managed to nurture at least one plant until it flowered, and that’s definitely quite the achievement. Even though most of the plants died anyway, they will be analyzed and will provide crucial information that will help us understand how different and difficult it is to grow plants in space. Kelly had a more “hands-on” approach when it came to watering and tending the plants, which was probably they key to his success. On December 27, he tweeted a photo of the withering plants and stated that he would have to channel his “inner Mark Watney” in order to make sure that they will survive.

On January 8 he posted another tweet on a more positive note, and on January 16 he showed us the first ever flower grown in space in full bloom.


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