On January 16, Scott Kelly, an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) tweeted, “Yes, there are other life forms in space!” And those other life forms were zinnias, a type of flower. It was the first time flowers ever grew in space. However, these weren’t the first plants grown in space. Last year, astronauts grew lettuce successfully on the ISS and ate it. Astronauts are experimenting with growing food which will be very useful to sustain longer exploration missions into space. Growing tomato plants is planned for next year.
The ISS is a large research facility in space. It hangs around 250 miles (400 km) above the Earth’s surface. It goes around our planet once every 90 minutes, and it can accommodate up to 6 people. You can learn more about the ISS here, and watch a video about a toilet on the ISS here.
Image Credits: NASA for the image of the zinnia on the ISS