<p>“The zinnia plant is very different from lettuce,” another plant that has been grown in space, a NASA official <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/flowers">noted</a>. Because astronauts let the zinnia grow longer and flower, it was good practice for growing space tomatoes, another NASA goal.</p>

Learning Curve

“The zinnia plant is very different from lettuce,” another plant that has been grown in space, a NASA official noted. Because astronauts let the zinnia grow longer and flower, it was good practice for growing space tomatoes, another NASA goal.

Photogra by Scott Kelly, NASA via Associated Press

First Space Zinnia Blooms—See How NASA Has Made Botany Cool

If astronauts one day travel to Mars, a green thumb will come in handy. See pictures of NASA's gardening success so far.

NASA recently released images of a zinnia flower blooming aboard the International Space Station. It’s not the first flower to bloom in space, but it is an important step in the space agency’s quest to provide homegrown food for its astronauts.

Over the years, astronauts have grown a variety of plants, to better understand whether they can survive in a microgravity environment. Here’s a look at the fruits of those endeavors.

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