Though astronauts have a lot of food options in space, they are all freeze-dried. They get some fresh fruits or vegetables, but only when a supply ship arrives at the space station.
Flowers and Other Plants Could Help Boost Astronauts’ Spirits and Health
Earlier this year, NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station were able to successfully grow fresh lettuce. Following that success, astronauts are growing flowers for the first time.
Growing fresh food on the space station is a part of NASA’s mission to study the effects of microgravity on plant life in space. The experiment to grow plants, aptly named ‘Veggie,’ is aimed at keeping the astronauts healthy.
Now, the astronauts have started growing colorful and quick-sprouting Zinnia flowers. It will be the first time that a flower is grown in space. The hope is that this experience will help astronauts to grow other flowering plants, like tomatoes, next year.
To stimulate plant growth, the plants are lit by LED lights and fertilized by an automatic feeder.