NASA is celebrating a space plant victory: Over the weekend, astronaut Scott Kelly showed off zinnia flowers he’d grown and coaxed back to health on board the International Space Station. But despite what some headlines are reporting, these aren’t really the first flowers in space.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) December 27, 2015
In fact, they’re not even NASA’s first flowers on the ISS – though they are the first grown from start-to-finish in an official NASA mission. NASA’s first bloom had a much quirkier origin: In 2012, astronaut Don Pettit grew several plants (including a sunflower) in plastic baggies he’d brought on board as a personal science experiment. The tiny blossom didn’t fare well, but it did technically bloom.