Astronaut nurses zinnia to full bloom after mould invasion

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The International Space Station is home to a new life form: a thriving zinnia with a beautiful orange-yellow bloom.

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Space station commander Scott Kelly showed off his gardening results over the weekend. He posted photos of the flower on his Twitter account.

Last month, Kelly had to fight off mould that threatened to kill all the flowers in the space station's mini-greenhouse. He managed to save some of the crop. Kelly says this type of autonomous gardening will be necessary during Mars expeditions.

The plant-growing experiment previously saw a crop of red romaine lettuce. The space station crew got to sample a few leaves.

The zinnias aren't just for looks: NASA says they're a good precursor to tomato plants.



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