Pretty exciting things are happening in the International Space Station after New Year!
For the first time in history, there will be flowers growing in space!
Don’t worry, they are not setting up an international space flower delivery service! The aim of this experiment is to see if flowers can exist in conditions that are different from Earth and having plant growing facilities on the space station will enable the astronauts to perform long duration explorations.
On 16 November, NASA announced on their blog that astronaut Kjell Lindgren activated the Veggie plant growth system, which contains the seeds of zinnia.
Why Zinnia? Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to grow, requiring very little care and grow relatively quickly.
While it’s no news that vegetables grow is space, among the most recent one’s lettuce, this is pretty exciting news and the start of a new era.
Do you ask why did they start with vegetables and not with flowers?
The thing is, flowers need a bit more care and are more sensitive to the surrounding conditions. Having tested growing vegetables first gives the scientists pretty good indications what improvements they need to make to start growing flowers.
And why are they doing all of this?
“The farther and longer humans go away from Earth, the greater the need to be able to grow plants for food, atmosphere recycling, and psychological benefits,” concluded Gioia Massa, NASA Kennedy Space Center payload scientist for Veggie. “Plant systems will become important components of any long-duration exploration scenario.”