Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Photo of the Day: Growing More Edible Plants Aboard the ISS...
Zinnia Flowers Starting to Grow on the International Space Station (Press Release)
Zinnia flowers are starting to grow in the International Space Station's Veggie facility as part of the VEG-01 investigation. Veggie provides lighting and nutrient supply for plants in the form of a low-cost growth chamber and planting "pillows” to provide nutrients for the root system. These plants appear larger than their ground-based counterparts and scientists expect buds to form on the larger plants soon.
The Veggie facility supports a variety of plant species that can be cultivated for educational outreach, fresh food and even recreation for crew members on long-duration missions. Previously, the facility has grown lettuce -- which was consumed by the crew earlier this year -- and now investigators are attempting to grow Zinnia flowers. Understanding how flowering plants grow in microgravity can be applied to growing other edible flowering plants, such as tomatoes.