The Martian’s space botany theme has been affirmed this week after US astronaut Scott Kelly confirmed that a zinnia plant had flowered on the International Space Station (ISS).
Ridley Scott’s film, due for UK release on February 8, is based on space botanist Mark Watney’s incredible survival on Mars where he was able to grow and cultivate potatoes.
And the concept may not be so far fetched after all. Commander Scott Kelly has announced on Twitter that the “first ever flower grown in space” has made its debut, adding: “Yes, there are other life forms in space!”
A Nasa blog about the flowers, written before one had bloomed, said zinnias were chosen not for their beauty but to “help scientists understand how plants flower and grow in microgravity”.
At the end of December, Mr Kelly tweeted a photograph of sad-looking zinnias with curled, mouldy leaves, the Independent reported.
“Our plants aren’t looking too good. Would be a problem [for a human colony] on Mars,” he said.