NASA’s Astronaut Scott Kelly Grows The First Ever Flower in Space

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The International Space Station (ISS) now has a bright pop of orange, thanks to astronaut Scott Kelly’s green thumb.

Kelly showed off his gardening results — a thriving zinnia with a beautiful orange-yellow bloom — over the weekend. He posted photos of the flower on his Twitter account.

“Yes, there are other life forms in space!” Kelly said in a tweet.

Kelly is no stranger to space horticulture however. Last year he managed to grow lettuce on board the International Space Station (ISS). Now he’s used his zero gravity vegetable garden to grow Zinnias, a type of edible flower most commonly found in salads. Given that astronauts are still largely dependent on freeze-dried meals, such experiments could prove vital for future space missions as renewable food would enable astronauts to broaden their scope of space exploration. Providing they have enough fuel of course.

These new space zinnias aren’t just for looks: NASA said they’re a good precursor to tomato plants, targeted to launch in 2018. The next hothouse crop, coming up soon on a SpaceX supply flight, will be Chinese cabbage and more lettuce.

NASA’s little greenhouse is known as Veggie, short for Vegetable Production System. It flew to the space station in 2014.

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