The Monitor Daily (U.S) – Scott Kelly tended Zinnia flower opened in full bloom with the commander of the International Space Station taking all the credit for the orange delight. The Zinnia was shown to the world as soon as Scott Kelly got a chance to reach his Twitter account.
One of the Twitter captions accompanying the photo of the proudly presented space flower exclaims:
“Yes, there are other life forms in space!”.
The world revelled in the most photogenic shots of space-grown plants ever taken. When Scott Kelly tended Zinnia flower opened in full bloom, it was a success story for everyone following the development of the Veggie project. Tending to the Zinnias aboard the International Space Station has gone astray from the guidelines and supervision of the Veggie project team back home.
Conventionally, the Veggie project team at NASA dictates all steps to the astronauts who have a second job: that of space gardeners. Along with instructions on watering the plants, cleaning them, providing just the right humidity and just the right temperature, the team back home sends alerts on possible threats to the fragile plants’ existence.
The Zinnia flowers aboard the International Space Station faced such a threat. Rapidly expanding mold brought the space flower on the edge of dying. Without a thorough rescue plan designed by the Veggie project team at NASA, the botanists aboard the ISS, with commander “greenthumb” Scott Kelly in lead, revised the tending plan on the ground.
Thus, the first space flower to bloom under commander Kelly’s supervision made history. It wasn’t the first space flower ever recorded. The orange Zinnia was impressive nonetheless. A visual delight and a scientific success story, the space grown and bloomed orange Zinnia paves the way for further such daring experiments.
The Veggie project will see to it that ever more plants, edible or not, are grown in space. The Veggie chamber aboard the International Space Station has no doubt groomed and brought to fruition a number of outstanding experiments. Remember the red romaine lettuce the astronauts team was munching on last year?
It was came from the growth chamber designed to test food production on the frontier. Space grown food may sound awkward. Yet, if humanity is to venture farther beyond the known frontier, with space missions such as the upcoming manned Mars mission, space grown food becomes a must.
Not only does space grown food offer independence and more sustainability, but space gardeners reap a host of psychological and therapeutic benefits from growing plants in space. Just as side note, it seems that almost everything grown in space is edible. Even the orange Zinnia flower. Perhaps its fame saved it from being turned into a salad.
Photo Credits: Twitter