They planted plants in the soil of the moon and they grew!

14 May, 2022
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They planted plants in the soil of the moon and they grew!

For the first time, scientists have grown plants in lunar soil collected by NASA's Apollo astronauts

Scientists were stunned by the results, published in the journal Communications Biology on Thursday, that they had no idea if anything would grow in the hard moon's dust.


Cress seed plant

Robert Ferrell of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences explained that he and his colleagues planted cress seeds in the lunar soil that Neil Armstrong brought back from Apollo 11, as well as Buzz Aldrin and other lunar walkers years ago, where the seeds sprouted. In contrast, the researchers pointed out that the only downside to this study occurred after the first week, where the roughness and other characteristics of the lunar soil pressured the small-flowered weeds to the point that they grew more slowly than those grown in mounds of earth.


They added that most of the moon plants ended up stunted, noting that the plants were poor in the soil that was more exposed to cosmic radiation and the solar wind on the moon, according to what was reported by the newspaper "The Guardian".


Real step

"This is a huge step forward for knowing that you can grow plants," said Simon Gilroy, an aerospace plant biologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not involved in the study. "The next real step is to go and do it on the moon," he said. It is noteworthy that lunar dust is filled with tiny glass shards of micro-meteorite impacts that reached everywhere in the Apollo lunar landers and donned spacesuits for pedestrians on the lunar surface.

The scientists explained that one solution to finding cultivable soil is to use younger geological spots on the moon, such as lava flows.


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