The scientists consider this a breakthrough in the search for a natural satellite that can sustain long-term stays. They have successfully grown plants from soil samples taken from the Moon. BBC reported.
The seeds sprouted using soil samples from the Apollo 1969-1972 missions to plant plant life. It was announced by BBC this week.
“I can’t tell you how astonished we were,”Anna-Lisa Paul (University of Florida) co-authored a paper about the findings. “Every plant – whether in a lunar sample or in a control – looked the same up until about day six.”
The process of growing plant life from Moon soil has been decades in the making, NASA said.
“Here we are, 50 years later, completing experiments that were started back in the Apollo labs,” Robert Ferl, a professor in the Horticultural Sciences department at the University of Florida, Gainesville, said in a statement on NASA’s website.
“We first asked the question of whether plants can grow in regolith. And second, how might that one day help humans have an extended stay on the Moon,”He added.
The news is exciting because of the possibilities, but scientists also said that plants are not as robust and lush as plants grown in soil from Earth or volcanic ash. NASA said that the plants were very small, and more research is needed to confirm this.
It is possible that plant life may grow, which is exciting for all.
“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,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “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.”