The mission aims to see the first plants grown on the moon. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS
One of NASA's new upcoming projects will attempt to grow plants on the moon for the first time.
The Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team consists of scientists, students and volunteers who will attempt to do what nobody has ever done before by trying to grow plants from seeds on the lunar surface inside specially designed aluminum capsules.
The self-contained environments will be filled with everything the plants need to grow in addition to a wide array of scientific instrumentation and recording devices. A selection of arabidopsis, basil, sunflowers, and turnips will be grown in the experiment.
Scheduled for 2015, the mission will most likely hitch a ride to the moon on the winning spacecraft of Google's Lunar X Prize, a competition aimed at giving private companies the chance to win a large cash prize for being the first to land a robot on the moon. By taking advantage of the opportunity to go private for the mission NASA stands to save countless millions of dollars in costs.
"Whenever we do spread life beyond our own planet, it will fundamentally change our cultural perception of what is possible," said Dr. Pete Worden of NASA’s Ames Research Center. "The first picture of a plant growing on another world – that picture will live forever. It will be as iconic as the first footprint on the moon."
Source: Forbes | Comments (19)