Scientists from the University of Florida successfully grew plants in the Moon Soil. “Lunar soils don’t have a lot of the nutrients that are needed to support plant growth,” Stephen Elardo from the University of Florida said in a press conference.
Scientists grew plants in the moon soil in a Nasa-funded study
In the Nasa-funded study, the scientists planted the seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana— a plant related to mustard greens, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower — in the soil of the Moon, which was collected directly from the moon from various Apollo missions (11,12, and 17) a half-century ago. Furthermore, the study investigated plants’ biological response to the moon’s soil, lunar regolith, which is radically different from soil found on Earth.
Robert Ferl, a professor of horticultural sciences from the University of Florida noted that growing plants in the moon soil could have other potential uses, such as; purifying air, removing carbon dioxide humans breathe out, and producing clean water. NASA’s Administrator, Bill Nelson, said: “This research is critical to NASA’s long-term human exploration goals. We’ll need to use resources found on the Moon and Mars to develop food sources for future astronauts living and operating in deep space.”
Sowing the seeds for future
Seeing the plants grow in the lunar soil is remarkable for researchers as lunar soil lacks the organic material required for growth. The results provided hope that it may be possible to one day grow plants directly on the Moon. Robert Feel said; “Seeing plants grow is an achievement in that it says that we can go to the moon and grow our food, clean our air and recycle our water using plants the way we use them here on Earth. It is also a revelation in that it says that terrestrial life is not limited to Earth.”