A flower blooms – in space
A flower blooms – in space This image made available by NASA via Twitter posted on Jan. 17, 2016 by space station commander Scott Kelly, shows a zinnia flower out in the sun at the International Space Station. (Scott Kelly/NASA via AP/Thinkstock)
A flower blooms – in space
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The International Space Station now has a bright pop of orange. It's thanks to commander Scott Kelly's green thumb.
 
Kelly showed off his gardening results. He grew a thriving zinnia. It has a beautiful orange-yellow bloom. He posted photos of the flower on his Twitter account.
 
"Yes, there are other life forms in space!" Kelly said in a tweet in mid-January.
 
In December, Kelly had to fight off mold. It threatened to kill all the flowers in the space station's mini-greenhouse.  Kelly managed to save some of the crop. This type of independent gardening will be necessary during Mars expeditions, Kelly noted.
 
In a nod to last year's blockbuster movie "The Martian," Kelly said, "I'm going to have to channel my inner Mark Watney." Watney is the fictitious astronaut-botanist who ends up stranded alone on Mars. He grows potatoes in order to survive.
 
The space station's plant-growing experiment saw a bumper crop of red romaine lettuce last summer. The space station crew got to sample a few leaves.
 
This is the first zinnia known to bloom in space. But, it's not the first space flower.
 
In 2012, space station astronaut Donald Pettit memorably coaxed blooms out of a zucchini plant. He blogged about his informal experiment in "Diary of a Space Zucchini." He also nurtured Space Sunflower and Space Broccoli.
 
The Russians hold claim to the first flower in space. Flowers were grown aboard the Soviet Salyut space stations of the 1970s and 1980s.
 
These new space zinnias aren't just for looks. NASA said they're a good precursor to tomato plants. Those are targeted to launch in 2018. The next hothouse crop is coming up soon on a SpaceX supply flight. It will be Chinese cabbage and more lettuce.
 
NASA's little greenhouse is known as Veggie. That's short for Vegetable Production System. It was flown to the space station in 2014.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/junior/flower-blooms-space/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are scientists experimenting with plant life in space?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (14)
  • vaughnabby1-cru
    2/03/2016 - 12:06 p.m.

    To show the people that it is not impossible but hard to grow a plant in space.For example,they grow lettuce, broccoli

  • brassellalyssa1-cru
    2/03/2016 - 12:31 p.m.

    Scientists are experimenting plants in space so they could tell everyone that a plant was grown in space. Also scientists could experiment more on flowers in space and plant more flowers in space. They are also experimenting plant life in space because you could have information about planets.

  • englemaddy1-cru
    2/04/2016 - 11:38 a.m.

    I thought it was very cool that Kelly was planting things in space. It had never occurred to me that people could plant things in space. Maybe someday I will go up to space and plant a flower.




    - Maddy

  • gordonchloe1-cru
    2/05/2016 - 11:02 a.m.

    Scientists are experimenting with space plants because they want to find out if there other live forms in space besides human beings

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