The flowers were grown inside the Veggie lab aboard International Space Station (ISS) which was installed in early May 2014. With the success of this experiment, 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,” Trent Smith, Veggie project manager at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida stated in a press release.
The flowers appear similar to those grown on Earth, except for the curled edges of the petals, which could be due to the zero-gravity conditions.
This has also paved the way for flowering crops such as tomatoes to be grown in space. If Nasa is ever to undertake deeper space missions, this research could prove to be invaluable, allowing astronauts to use the Veggie system to grow food.
The system, according to scientists, uses red, blue, and green LED lights to simulate sunlight, making the successful growth of the flower you see above possible