A Garden Grows in Space: First Zinnias Bloom, to Astronaut’s Delight

Jan 19, 2016

Photo credit: NASA/Scott Kelly

By Sarah Lewin

Zinnias have opened their pretty petals for the first time on the International Space Station, and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly couldn’t be prouder.

The zinnias, grown as part of the Veggie program, have had a rough path: They battled excessive water, overdrying and even enterprising mold before beginning to recover in early January.

To better balance conditions for the zinnias, NASA named Kelly an autonomous gardener (or “commander” of Veggie) on Christmas Eve, so he could independently decide when the plants needed to be watered or tended to instead of waiting for directives from Earth. It looks like that hard work has paid off, with new photos of the zinnia’s first vivid orangey-yellow bloom.


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2 comments on “A Garden Grows in Space: First Zinnias Bloom, to Astronaut’s Delight

  • Zinnias have opened their pretty petals for the first time on the International Space Station, and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly couldn’t be prouder.

    So when will we see how insect pollinators cope with zero G?



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  • Can’t find the link right now > I think one NASA article, per plants in micro/zero-gravity, mentioned squash.

    Squash blossoms are edible, as are other flowers (pansies, rose petals). Deep space quandary: fleurs delight my sense of sight and smell, but thy tongue wants to savour the flavour.



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