(PCM) You may have recently seen the image of a gorgeous orange zinnia circulating via social media over the last few days and wondered what was so special about it in particular. Well, that orange zinnia was actually grown in space by a group of NASA astronauts and it is pretty incredible!
Back in 2014 NASA created the Veggie Plant Growth System on the International Space Station as a way for astronauts to begin growing their own fresh vegetables for consumption while on-board. Late last year, the astronauts were able to finally sample their very own space-grown red romaine lettuce with great success.
Their next goal was to grow orange zinnia and this mission too proved to be a success! It was a bit more challenging than the lettuce as flowering plants take a bit longer to grow and are much more sensitive to environmental factors such as humidity. NASA praises astronaut and main plant caregiver Scott Kelly’s “heroic holiday gardening efforts” as the reason two zinnias bloomed.
They may plan to plant some tomatoes next!