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Check Out These Pictures of the First Flower Grown in Space

Space botany! The future is now.

This weekend, the astronauts up on the International Space Station reached a major milestone: they grew the first flower in space. More specifically, they grew a firey zinnia bloom. It’s beautiful, really, and the firey orange really contrasts pretty well with the blue of the Earth behind it. That’s a sentence I just typed. This is the future. Oh boy.

Before someone says something: yes, plants have been grown up in space before. As I said, this is the first flower grown in space. As Colossal’s Christopher Jobson points out, “Plants like lettuce have aready been grown and eaten aboard the ISS.” This flower is part of the VEG-01 project, which can be considered the next step in space agriculture. They’re trying to grow more complex plants, and this flower represents a pretty great sign of success.

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.