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Can plants grow on the moon?

moon nasa google lunar x-prize

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:47 AM

Can plants grow on the moon? NASA plans test in 2015


phys.org said:

(Phys.org) óNASA is planning to launch a milestone experiment involving growing plants on the moon. The target date is 2015, when the agency will deposit plants on the moon's surface. The initiative is being driven by the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team. They intend to use coffee-can sized containers designed to protect the plants against harsh elements of the climate, and will also provide cameras, sensors, and electronics in order to relay information about how the plants fare back to earth. NASA's plan is "to develop a very simple sealed growth chamber that can support germination over a five to-ten day period in a spacecraft on the Moon."

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#2    DieChecker

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 04:52 AM

They grow on the Space Station, so they should grow on the Moon too. I suppose it will be watering them that will be an issue, like in the ISS.

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#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 05:19 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 28 November 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

They grow on the Space Station, so they should grow on the Moon too.
Really! On the space station they aren't exposed to 2 weeks of day light followed by 2 weeks of night.

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#4    DecoNoir

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 05:21 AM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 28 November 2013 - 05:19 AM, said:


Really! On the space station they aren't exposed to 2 weeks of day light followed by 2 weeks of night.

Nor an ungodly amount of radiation, and the overall cruel vacuum of space.

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#5    Realm

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 05:42 AM

This is why it's called science I suppose. Never know till we try.

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#6    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 06:00 AM

View PostDecoNoir, on 28 November 2013 - 05:21 AM, said:

Nor an ungodly amount of radiation, and the overall cruel vacuum of space.

I very much doubt that the plants will be exposed to the vacuum of space, there is no point carrying out an experiment to see if plants can survive in conditions that you know they can't.

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#7    DecoNoir

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 07:43 AM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 28 November 2013 - 06:00 AM, said:



I very much doubt that the plants will be exposed to the vacuum of space, there is no point carrying out an experiment to see if plants can survive in conditions that you know they can't.

Well those pesky micro meteorites might have something to say about that...

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#8    taniwha

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 07:51 AM

If they grew enough cactus it would transform the moon into the wild west.


#9    seeder

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:37 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 28 November 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

I suppose it will be watering them that will be an issue,

"The idea, according to the space scientists, is “to develop a very simple sealed growth chamber that can support germination over a five-10 day period in a spacecraft on the moon,” with filter paper used to feed dissolved nutrients to the plant".

The habitats will have to regulate their own water consumption, temperature and power supply.

“Upon landing on the moon a trigger would release a small reservoir of water wetting the filter paper and initiating germination of the seeds. The air in the sealed container would be adequate for more than five days of growth. No additional air supply or air processing would be necessary. The seedlings would be photographed at intervals with sufficient resolution to compare with growth in Earth controls. We would use the natural sunlight on the moon as the source of illumination for plant germination as a first ISRU (in situ resource utilization) demonstration,” the scientists reported on the space agency’s website.

http://rt.com/news/n...lants-moon-420/

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#10    Peter B

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 11:51 AM

I have a vague memory that scientists have successfully grown plants in lunar soil - either actual material returned to Earth on an Apollo mission or a closely matching simulant. However I'll leave it to the experts to determine whether it'd be better to grow plants hydroponically or in lunar soil. I suspect the former, given that grains of lunar soil are extremely rough and abrasive.


#11    seeder

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:13 PM

View PostPeter B, on 28 November 2013 - 11:51 AM, said:

I have a vague memory that scientists have successfully grown plants in lunar soil - either actual material returned to Earth on an Apollo mission or a closely matching simulant. However I'll leave it to the experts to determine whether it'd be better to grow plants hydroponically or in lunar soil. I suspect the former, given that grains of lunar soil are extremely rough and abrasive.

Yes I think hydroponics is the  way to go...heres  a page on plants grown on the ISS

http://news.national...tation-science/

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#12    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:15 PM

View Posttaniwha, on 28 November 2013 - 07:51 AM, said:

If they grew enough cactus it would transform the moon into the wild west.
And enough rice and bananas and coconuts and we could all live there.


#13    Sundew

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 04:09 PM

Try the Moonflower Vine (Calonyction aculeatum) it grows like a weed on Earth!


#14    ROGER

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 08:27 PM

Look what happened with the Biosphere experiments . Lot's of money to prove it wouldn't work .

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#15    Sundew

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 03:50 AM

View PostROGER, on 28 November 2013 - 08:27 PM, said:

Look what happened with the Biosphere experiments . Lot's of money to prove it wouldn't work .

It's hard to put a planet's ecosystem in a bottle. Even if it had worked flawlessly, it's another matter to transport all that water/soil/biomass to space and achieve the same results. If you ever saw "Silent Running" it was a nice idea, but not necessarily practical.






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