NASA astronaut, Commander Scott Kelly, took matters into his own hands late last year after the International Space Station’s crew tried to grow some zinnia plants in zero gravity. Just a few weeks after planting, the crew noticed symptoms of high humidity and poor air flow; the plants’ wicks leaked water and the pedals were growing curled. Not long after, some of the plants started growing mold. This is when Scott Kelly decided it was time to channel his inner Mark Watney, Matt Damon’s character in The Martian who worked miracles to get potatoes to grow on Mars.
Our plants aren’t looking too good. Would be a problem on Mars. I’m going to have to channel my inner Mark Watney. pic.twitter.com/m30bwCKA3w
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) December 27, 2015
Scott Kelly ditched NASA’s watering schedule and nurtured the zinnia plants by hand and was able to get some of the plants to bounce back. Behold, the first flower to bloom in space!
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 16, 2016
After successfully growing vegetables on ISS, the zinnia was the stepping stone to growing tomatoes in space. Cheers to something other than Mark Watney’s potatoes!