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NASA astronauts celebrated Independence Day with patriotic plant habitat

And a view of Washington DC as seen from the ISS.

The Advanced Plant Habitat LED lights make an American flag.


The NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station may be physically far away from the US, but they still found a creative way to mark the Fourth of July in orbit. 

The ISS Advanced Plant Habitat, which is used to for plant growth experiments, cosplayed as an American flag for Independence Day.

NASA notes the habitat is about the size of a minifridge and has been used to grow dwarf wheat and arabidopsis, a small plant related to cabbage. The LED array uses white, red, blue, green and far-red lights, which made the flag design possible.

There are three NASA astronauts on board the ISS out of a crew of six. Ricky Arnold also tweeted an image of a flag that flew on NASA's first orbital space shuttle mission, STS-1, as well as on the last, STS-135.

Astronaut Drew Feustel tweeted his own tribute to America's birthday with a space view of Washington DC. "Wonderful to see the nation's capital on a clear day! A single image steeped in so much history and potential. Happy Independence Day!" he wrote.

The space station crew has a knack for celebrating in microgravity, as we've seen with their Thanksgiving meals, a pizza party and a space jam earlier this year.