NASA astronauts will build a greenhouse on the Moon

During the Artemis-3 mission, NASA astronauts will land on the moon. They will build a greenhouse there and try to grow plants in it. In addition, there are plans to create a network of seismometers and experiments with regolith.

Greenhouse on the Moon. Source:

Greenhouse on the Moon

The first astronauts to land on the moon in more than half a century will create a lunar greenhouse if everything goes according to plan. NASA has selected the first three scientific experiments that astronauts will deploy on the surface of the Moon during the Artemis-3 mission in 2026. Among them will be LEAF (Lunar Effects on Agricultural Flora), which provides for the study of how the conditions of our moon affect agricultural plants.

“LEAF will be the first experiment to observe plant photosynthesis, growth and systemic stress responses in space-radiation and partial gravity,” NASA representatives wrote on Tuesday, March 26, during the announcement of experiments they had chosen.

Data on plant growth and development, as well as environmental parameters obtained with LEAF, will help scientists understand the peculiarities of growing plants there. In the future, they will not only provide astronauts with food, but also regenerate oxygen in the atmosphere of the lunar station.

Other experiments

The other two new experiments, actions, are the Lunar Environment Monitoring Station (LEMS) and the Lunar Dielectric Analyzer (LDA). 

LEMS is a set of autonomous seismometers that will hunt for moonquakes for two years after deployment. They will explore the local structure of the Moon’s crust and mantle, which will add valuable information to models of its formation and evolution.

The LDA experiment will measure the ability of the lunar regolith — the Moon’s top layer of dust and gravel — to propagate an electric field. The instrument will collect important information about the structure of the Moon’s interior, track changes in dielectric properties caused by changes in the angle of inclination of the Sun during the rotation of the Moon, and look for possible places of frost formation or ice deposition.

The instruments will be placed near the south pole of the moon, a region considered to be rich in water ice. This means that not even one, but several stations can be placed there.

About Artemis-3 mission

However, there is no guarantee that the greenhouse for LEAF, LEMS and LDA will fly on Artemis-3. This is the current plan, but final decisions on the mission will be determined later. The crew has not yet been announced, although it was stated that this mission would land a woman and a man of non-European origin on the Moon for the first time in history.

Artemis-3 will be the first manned mission to the moon’s surface since Apollo 17 in December 1972. However, first, during the Artemis-2 mission, four astronauts must fly around the Moon. If everything goes according to plan, it will happen at the end of 2025.

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