First Step To Living On The Moon – Scientists Successfully Grow Plants From Lunar Soil. 

There are no McDonald’s drive-thrus or Uber Eats on the moon, so if the big thinkers at NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin are serious about people staying or even living there someday, finding a food source would be fairly important. 

Well, for the first time, scientists have been able to successfully grow plants in lunar soil, which many experts believe is the first step to being serious about potentially inhabiting it. 

Small samples of dust that came back with the astronauts from the Apollo missions in 1969-72 were used to grow a type of cress. 

It worked.  And the scientists were shocked. Here’s what Anna-Lisa Paul of the University of Floria told the BBC. 

“I can’t tell you how astonished we were.  Every plant – whether in a lunar sample or in a control – looked the same up until about day six.”

By day seven, there were differences. The plants that sprouted in moon dust started showing stress, and their growth was eventually stunted. But regardless, it was a critical first step and a significant advancement. 

Nasa chief Bill Nelson told the BBC this about the experiment.

“This research is critical to Nasa’s long-term human exploration goals as 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. This fundamental plant growth research is also a key example of how Nasa is working to unlock agricultural innovations that could help us understand how plants might overcome stressful conditions in food-scarce areas here on Earth.”

Here’s the most amazing part – the researchers that did this at the University of Florida only had 1 gram of soil to work with. 

Next up – humans returning to the moon in 2025. 

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