Sunday, 21 February 2016

A new begining?

Did you see the recent announcement about the plant experiment conducted in the International Space station where "the first ever plant flowered in space"?

How beautiful does this little Zinnia look - and what an achievement.

Some of the photos are just amazing.

photos taken from

How can a seed grow in zero gravity? 
How does it know to send the roots down and the flower up? Or does it not matter?

So many questions but such a brilliant result. 

Seems the astronauts also managed to grow red romaine lettuce which they ate. Doesn't this open new options for extended space flight?

Not about to pooh on their success but technically the accolade for the first flower grown in space belongs to Don Pettit who in 2012 produced a sunflower.

credit Nasa 

And if I'm being really picky we could go back to 1982 when the Soviet Salyut 7 crew grew some Arabidopsis (rockcress) which flowered and then produced seed.

Although edible I wonder if the Zinnia was grown primarily as an ornamental - on the grounds that food is not the only requirement to sustain a happy existence. 
Is this some acknowledgement that all things green nourish the soul and gladden the heart?
For whatever reason the Zinnia promises wonderful things in space which I can only commend. 

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