NASA has chosen zinnias for the first flower to bloom in the International Space Station.
The zinnias were chosen by NASA not for their beauty, but to “help scientists understand how plants flower and grow in microgravity.” ISS astronauts made headlines last year after successfully growing lettuces on the ISS, but the zinnias proved to be a bit more difficult.
The zinnias began to exhibit telltale signs of plant stress—water droplets on the leaf edges and curling leaves—two weeks into their growth period. This was as a result of inhibited airflow in the plant growth facility and excess water. Astronauts aboard the ISS then noticed mold growing on them.
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