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NASA‬ astronaut Scott Kelley releases images of first ever flower grown in space

Gorkha Post



KATHMANDU — NASA‬ astronaut Scott Kelley on Saturday released pictures of the first ever flower grown in space.

He tweeted picture of a splendid yellow shaded bloom which resembles sunflower. The blossom is from the plant zinnia that is a local Southwestern United States.

The plant growth facility was installed in the orbiting laboratory in 2014. The flower was chosen by scientists to understand the growth of plants in microgravity.

“Growing zinnia plants will help advance our knowledge of how plants flower in the Veggie growth system, and will enable fruiting plants like tomatoes to be grown and eaten in space using Veggie as the in-orbit garden, ” said, Trent Smith, Veggie project manager at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Smith also said that zinnia flower has a growth duration between 60 and 80 days. It is also sensitive to environmental parameters and light characteristics compared to other plants.

“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,” Smith added.

Scott Joseph Kelly is an American astronaut, engineer and a retired U.S. Navy Captain.

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Science & Technology

Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Thompson Reuters



The English physicist, who wrote ‘A Brief History of Time’ and was the subject of Oscar-winning film ‘The Theory of Everything’ , has died at home in Cambridge. He was 76.

The UK’s Press Association reported his death, citing a spokesman for the family.

Hawking, who sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life while himself working under the shadow of a likely premature death.

He was considered a medical marvel, having lived for more than half a century with the devastating condition motor neurone disease.

Hawking’s formidable mind probed the very limits of human understanding both in the vastness of space and in the bizarre sub-molecular world of quantum theory, which he said could predict what happens at the beginning and end of time.

His work ranged from the origins of the universe itself, through the tantalizing prospect of time travel to the mysteries of space’s all-consuming black holes.

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But the power of his intellect contrasted cruelly with the weakness of his body, ravaged by the wasting motor neurone disease he contracted at the age of 21.

Hawking was confined for most of his life to a wheelchair. As his condition worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesizer and communicating by moving his eyebrows.

Doctors gave him just two years to live, but he defied them and went on to be one of the greatest minds we have ever known.

Stephen was born on January 8 1942 in Oxford – where his parents had decamped from north London for him to be born away from the worst of the wartime bombing raids.

The disease spurred him to work harder but also contributed to the collapse of his two marriages, he wrote in a 2013 memoir ‘My Brief History.’

In the book he related how he was first diagnosed: “I felt it was very unfair – why should this happen to me,” he wrote.

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