Australia to conduct experiment on growing plants on the Moon

Scientists from the University of Queensland have announced their intention to conduct an experiment on growing plants on the Moon. If successful, it will help lay an important foundation stone for future space settlements.

Cotton sprouts in an airtight container located on board the Chang’e-4 spacecraft that landed on the Moon. Source: CNSA

The experiment will be carried out during the Beresheet-2 private mission, which launch is scheduled for 2025. Scientists have already reached a corresponding agreement with its organizers. For the experiment, a sealed capsule will be used, which will contain plant seeds, systems that will ensure their watering and supply of nutrients, as well as monitoring tools to track growth.

Since the experiment is in an early stage of development, its authors have not yet decided on the seeds that will fly to the moon. One of the possible candidates is Tripogon loliformi (also known as “resurrecting grass”). This plant is famous for the fact that even after losing 95% of the water in its tissues, it still remains alive and can be revived after the onset of favorable conditions.

Recall that the first-ever experiment on growing plants on the Moon was conducted as part of the Chang’e-4 mission in 2019. On board the spacecraft that landed on the reverse side of the satellite of our planet was a sealed container intended for the formation of a closed biosphere. It contained soil, water, air, seeds of four plant species, drosophila eggs and yeast fungi. As a result, the cameras inside the container recorded the germination of one of the cotton seeds. This was the first time in history when an earth plant sprouted on the surface of another celestial body.

You can also read about the results of a recent study that showed that the Moon could form much faster than previously thought.

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