Space is a hard place for humans to survive. We constantly need water, food, and protection from radiation, and then there is the little fact that space has no air, food, or water just floating around for us to use. That means we have to take it all with us when we go there.
As we know from The Martian, water and food are big challenges for astronauts. Space travelers need to be able to grow their own food for long duration missions. In the past, NASA has grown edible plants like lettuce, but it wanted to learn how flowering plants would fare in microgravity.
The pretty orange flower you see here is the result. It’s a zinnia, part of the daisy family of flowers. While it looks pretty, there were some issues growing these plants on the ISS. Some mold was found on the leaves, but NASA views that as an important happening because it gives a chance to learn more about growing plants in space.
Perhaps, someday they’ll grow flowering fruit plants, so they can enjoy fresh apples and strawberries in space.