US space agency NASA has launched a mobile game that allows gamers to grow virtual plants aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Named “Space Science Investigations: Plant Growth,” the 200MB game takes a player on the ISS, where it meets the crew, gather items float around and grows plants.
Players first need to learn how to get around in zero-gravity environment and then complete the mission to grow the plants.
NASA has long worked at perfecting the art of growing plants in a low gravity environment, something considered necessary for providing food during long duration flights (such as to Mars), as well as in habitation pods on other planets.
The astronauts have already had some success such as growing bright orange zinnias on the space station.
Last year, a Hollywood movie “The Martian” showed a character who improvised a farm inside a space station on Mars, utilised Martian soil that was fertilised with human waste, produced water by extracting hydrogen from leftover rocket fuel and grew potatoes on the station.