By Scott Stenholm - Editorial Producer, Larry King Now
NASA is on a roll lately! Astronaut Scott Kelly is past the half-way point in his year-long mission aboard the International Space Station (watch the video below), there are plans to look for signs of life on Jupiter's moon, they recently released the clearest images of Pluto seen to date and last summer they announced the discovery of an Earth-like planet, Kepler-254b. And now the space agency is boasting about their gardening skills.
Last weekend, Kelly posted zinnia flowers that he has cultivated aboard the International Space Station during his historic 'Year In Space' mission. Kelly wrote, "Yes, there are other life forms in space! #SpaceFlower #YearInSpace"
According to NASA, the flowering crop experiment began on Nov. 16, 2015, when NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren activated the Veggie system and its rooting "pillows" containing zinnia seeds. In a post on it's website, the space agency says, "the challenging process of growing the zinnias provided an exceptional opportunity for scientists back on Earth to better understand how plants grow in microgravity, and for astronauts to practice doing what they’ll be tasked with on a deep space mission: autonomous gardening."
NASA also noted that, "In late December, Kelly found that the plants "weren't looking too good," and told the ground team, “You know, I think if we’re going to Mars, and we were growing stuff, we would be responsible for deciding when the stuff needed water. Kind of like in my backyard, I look at it and say ‘Oh, maybe I should water the grass today.’ I think this is how this should be handled.”
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 17, 2016
Late last summer, Kelly appeared on Larry King Now from aboard the ISS and talked about a recent ‘first’ in space travel: the first food grown and eaten in space. This program could prove vital in a long distance mission to Mars or, eventually, newly discovered planets.
Check out this related space article about New Planet Nine
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