One of seven digital photos from a series by artist Dario Robleto. The seeds in each cup came from a probe that held a variety of items that was placed in orbit by Challenger in 1983. The seeds were intended to be brought back to Earth and distributed to students around the country for experiments. It was due to be picked up by STS-51-L which, of course, never made it. It was later picked up by Columbia in 1990. Yes, this probe…these seeds flew on both shuttles that were lost. They have connections to the two biggest tragedies in the US space program.
Each photo in this seven is of a tomato seed from that probe just as it’s sprouting through cotton, like a rocket bursting through clouds. Each porcelain cup has the name of a member of the Challenger crew. Smith (pictured), McNair, Onizuka, Resnik, Jarvis, Scobee, McAuliffe.
Radiolab did a wonderful little piece about these photos a while back, as well. Found these very powerful images.