Scientists have reported on the first plants on the moon to be planted in the soil, accelerating a major step forward for the lunar field.
The process is still a long way from eating food. The team’s success became an important milestone in its mission to maintain its lunar base and launch missions into deep space.
It also gives us insights into the usefulness of plants in space.
Not surprisingly, humans did not have easy access to the moon’s soil from the earth.
Therefore, performing such tests is not an easy task.
Scientists have succeeded in sprouting crops in the moon-like soils of the Arizona desert, and some researchers have developed modules such as greenhouses that can be grown on the moon.
In 2019, the first seeds sprouted on the surface of the moon in a small biological spacecraft brought by China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft, but were destroyed 24 hours later.
The latest findings, led by Anna-Lisa Paul and Rob Ferl of the University of Florida, have been used three times in more than 11 years to conduct experiments on the moon.
Apollo 11; The soils collected during the 12th and 17th missions carry historical significance, but scientists have been able to collect 12 g (0.4 ounces) of valuable material from NASA to grow a small garden.
Scientists used tiny pots to add one gram of moonlight to the pot, moisten it with nutrients, and sow seeds from the Arabidopsis plant.
In the series, the team mimicked soil from Mars and Earth’s orbiting atmosphere as a test to control the same seeds.
Despite the skepticism, scientists were surprised to find that almost all of the Moon’s soil was fertile.
“We were surprised to find that the moon’s soil did not interfere with the hormones and signals involved in plant growth,” Paul said.
But it was not so easy.
Plants grown on the moon’s soil are slow to grow, and most of them are salty. Plants that contain oxygen that reacts with metals show the genetic characteristics that scientists may see.
“At the genetic level, “We can assume that the plants are slowing their growth in the lunar soil environment because they are producing stresses such as salts and minerals or antioxidant pressures.”
In the end, In order for us to grow plants, especially crops, we need to use solutions that address the underdeveloped reactions in the soil with minimal damage to the health of these plants.
Interestingly, plants that grow in more mature lunar soils (more exposed to space) are more likely to show signs of stress.
Plants that grow in less exposed soil have been shown to grow more smoothly.
As part of their follow-up study, scientists will now continue to study the relationship between plants and the soil of the moon and what other effects plants may have on the soil.