Having already worked out a way to grow lettuce in space, the folks aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are now turning their attention to flowers.
No, the experiments are not aimed at helping along any romantic liaisons that might blossom on future space expeditions, nor are there any plans to open a chain of space-based florist’s. Instead, it’s hoped the exercise will help NASA hone its plant-growing skills, with flower growth posing a far greater challenge than raising vegetables to maturity.
On Tuesday morning, some 240 miles above Earth, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren activated Veggie – NASA’s special plant growth system – with so-called “rooting pillows” containing Zinnia flower seeds.
It’s the first time for a flowering crop experiment to take place on the orbiting laboratory, and follows the successful cultivation of vegetables on the ISS in trials conducted over the last few years.
“Growing a flowering crop is more challenging than growing a vegetative crop such as lettuce,” said Gioia Massa, NASA Kennedy Space Center payload scientist for Veggie, adding, “Lighting and other environmental parameters are more critical.”
With help from Veggie’s water and nutrient system, as well as its red, blue and green LED lights, the Zinnias are expected to grow for about 60 days, which happens to be twice as long as the red romaine lettuce recently grown on the ISS.
Trent Smith, Veggie’s program manager at Kennedy, says the flower-growing experiment will help increase the team’s 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.”
NASA views this kind of research as essential if it wants to have any hope of launching lengthy manned missions into deep space, as it’d of course be impossible to take enough food from Earth.
Veggie team member Dr. Giola Massa said recently, “The farther and longer humans go away from Earth, the greater the need to be able to grow plants for food, atmosphere recycling and psychological benefits,” adding that “plant systems will become important components of any long-duration exploration scenario.”
- The Nikon D5 heads to space for (unmodified) work aboard the ISS
- Good to the last drop? NASA could use astronaut pee to make tools, food
- Prepare for liftoff! 17 upcoming space missions worth getting excited about
- Next-gen lunar station will be built by United States and Russia
- This ‘inflatable space yacht’ could be in orbit by 2022
- A New Tool on the ISS Could Help Us Find Alien Life
- Nasa to let TOURISTS visit the International Space Station from 2020 – but each trip will cost you £39million
- NASA makes history as two female astronauts complete FIRST-EVER all-women spacewalk from the ISS
- Nasa finds astronaut blood moving BACKWARDS on ISS – and bizarre phenomenon could be deadly
- How astronauts celebrate Easter on the International Space Station: Pork chops, turkey and asparagus are on the menu after NASA launches a rocket carrying a fresh supply of food
- SpaceX's Crew Dragon Capsule Successfully Docks With ISS, Without Use of Robotic Arm
- NASA finds astronaut blood moving backwards on ISS – and bizarre phenomenon could be deadly
- SpaceX and Boeing Are Getting a Parking Spot on the ISS
- When Brad Pitt asked NASA astronaut about Vikram
- Long periods in space can REVERSE blood flow and lead to deadly clots, NASA reveals - in a major blow to future Mars missions
- Why Astronauts Were Banned From Drinking Wine In Outer Space
- SpaceX readies Dragon for launch to International Space Station
- Nauseating Video Shows How Difficult It Is to Get Dizzy in Space
- Oh Man, Someone Is Finally Going Inside NASA's Inflatable Space House
- A monumental touchdown! Major Tim Peake makes space history by becoming the first British astronaut to join the crew of the International Space Station
- Nasa reveals stunning photo of ISS passing in front of rare ‘spotless sun’ – but not all is as it seems
- Russian cosmonauts venture outside the International Space Station in 'unprecedented' six-hour spacewalk to investigate mystery hole in Soyuz
- Well that will make them feel DEFLATED! Test of expandable habitat on the International Space Station delayed after it fails to blow up properly
- NASA shared a video of an astronaut throwing debris into space on its Instagram page today and channeled the motto of Netflix cleaning sensation Marie Kondo
- SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule EXPLOSION puts a dent in NASA's astronaut launch plans
The ISS gets some glitz as astronauts plant the first flowers in space have 719 words, post on www.digitaltrends.com at November 17, 2015. This is cached page on Movie News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.