Finally, the first ever flower to bloom in sky was a zinnia flower on the International Space station and the astronomer Scott Kelly was apt to find the best picture to tweet for the earthlings as shown here.
“Yes, there are other life forms in space!” Kelly tweeted with a photo of an orange Zinnia, mostly found in the southwestern United States. It was grown in microgravity by astro-physicists as part of an experiment to grow plants in outer space. The team has also grown lettuce in its second attempt.
Installed in early May 2014, Zinnia has become the first flowering plant grown outside Earth’s atmosphere. Growing zinnia plants will help advance our knowledge of how plants flower in the Veggie growth system, and will enable fruiting plants like tomatoes to be grown and eaten in space using Veggie as the in-orbit garden,” said Trent Smith, Veggie project manager at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The scientistws found that the flower has curled edges of the petals, which could be due to the zero-gravity conditions. The flowering has set the stage for the next phase of growing tomatoes in ISS. The special lab in ISS was set up using red, blue, and green LED lights to simulate sunlight, to grow the flower.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 16, 2016
Part of NASA’s VEG-01 experiment, Veggie provides lighting and nutrient supply for plants in the form of a low-cost growth chamber and planting “pillows” to provide nutrients for the root system. Also these plants may appear larger than the usual ones found on Earth, so scientists expect buds to form on the larger plants soon.
The lettuce grown earlier as part of the experiment was consumed by the crew earlier this year. The successful growth of Zinnia flowers may lead to udnerstand how flowering plants grow in microgravity can be applied to growing other edible flowering plants, such as tomatoes.