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A NASA Astronaut Has Shared A Photo Of The First Flower Grown In Space

Science is cool!

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Yes, you can literally eat it. The flower is an edible orange Zinnia. It was selected by NASA because it is a harder plant to grow than lettuce, which has already been successfully grown in space.


"This is perfect – he has the helm," Trent Smith, who is running the project, said of Kelly in a blog on NASA's website. "We turned over care to Scott. He's seen the lettuce, he's got all the tools he needs, so we just provided him quick guidelines to understand the zinnias."

But just like on Earth, gardening in space requires some TLC and patience. Kelly tweeted last month that his flowers weren't growing properly, and joked he may need help from The Martian's Mark Watney.

Our plants aren't looking too good. Would be a problem on Mars. I'm going to have to channel my inner Mark Watney.

The plants weren't struggling for long, though, with Kelly saying last week they were looking much more lively.

Some of my space flowers are on the rebound! No longer looking sad! #YearInSpace

NASA is growing the flowers and lettuce to learn how to garden in space with the hope of eventually being able to do so on Mars.

How does your garden grow? Here's how my #spaceflower came to bloom: #YearInSpace


Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at

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