The Greenhouse in Space is an educational project by ESA involving schoolchildren aged between 12 and 14 and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli at the International Space Station growing the same plants in similar small greenhouses for several months.
The project started on 17 February 2011 with an events in four locations in Europe: Cite de l'espace in Toulouse France; ESA European Astronaut Centre, Cologne, Germany; ESA ESRIN, Frascati, Italy; Ciencia Viva in Lisbon Portugal. The students were connected to each other and to the ISS to speak with Paolo Nespoli, who planted and watered the first seeds live.
Paolo is now using his specially-developed greenhouse in space to grow plants and make observations of the life cycle of a flowering plant. The schoolchildren are be able to follow this with their own experiment on the ground, using a similar greenhouse and the same species of plant.