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First ever flower blossoms in space

January 18, 2016, 8:32 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

ISS crews have been working many years on experiments to grow plants

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WASHINGTON, January 17. /TASS/. A first ever flower blossoms at the International Space Station (ISS), the crew member Scott Kelly twitted on Saturday.

"First ever flower grown in space makes its debut," he wrote. The media said the flower is an Aster-Zinnia.

In August 2015, Japan’s astronaut Kimiya Yui and the ISS crew tasted the first space salad, which was nurtured from seeds in special devices. Half of the crops was frozen and sent over for further tests on the Earth.

ISS crews have been working many years on experiments to grow plants. However, a key problem there comes from bacteria on the leaves, which may threaten the health of the astronauts. In future, on-board "space gardens" may be used for long-term expeditions, like a flight to Mars.

The ISS crew includes Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Korniyenko, Sergey Volkov and Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronauts Timothy Kopra and Scott Kelly, and European Space Agency’s Timothy Peake. Korniyenko and Kelly arrived to the Station back in March, 2015 and will be the first to be working there for almost a year running. Formerly, all crews remained in the space not more than for six-seven months.

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