HEADLINES Published January20, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

Astronaut debuts First Flower in Space

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International Space Station
(Photo : Getty Images - ESA)

Space missions have always been a costly endeavor. According to Forbes, the space station costs $100 million alone. Rockets average $60 million per launch which excludes the fuel needed to make the space craft run. However, at present there have been extended efforts to make space voyages a little more cost effective.

Just last month, Elon Musk's SpaceX made news when the company historically landed a Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth. The idea of reusable rockets would definitely reduce spending costs on space travel. More recently It seems like there has also been a development on sustaining food sources in space.

In August last year, the International Space Station crew made headlines when the team harvested the first edible crop of lettuce grown in space. While there have previously been plants grown onboard the station, the event marked the first time the astronauts were able to sample the produce. They have since moved on to cultivating more complicated crops and as of this weekend their efforts have been successful.

Scott Kelly, an astronaut from NASA, recently tweeted an image of the first bloomed flower grown in space.

"First ever flower grown in space makes its debut! #SpaceFlower #zinnia #YearInSpace" read the astronaut's tweet.

Having a zinnia flower bloom in space is a remarkable feat. According to Trent Smith, project manager of the ISS Veggie facility, the flower is very different than all the other plants that have been grown outside of earth. He further revealed that this development would allow the astronauts to cultivate other edible produce like the tomato.

"The zinnia plant is very different from lettuce. Thus, it is a more difficult plant to grow, and allowing it to flower, along with the longer growth duration, makes it a good precursor to a tomato plant" quipped Smith in NASA's official blog

View image here.

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