Scientists have successfully grown plants in lunar soil for the first time in history. The lands used were lands obtained during the three Apollo missions that took place between 1960 and 1970.
While the foundations for humanity’s colonization in space continue to be laid rapidly, today there has been an extremely important development that can help in this regard. The lunar soil brought to Earth by astronauts who went to the Moon and took soil samples during NASA’s Apollo missions managed to become a source of life for plants.
The work, which began in 2021, led by space biologist and geneticist Anna Lisa Paul from the University of Florida, was successful. Scientists have succeeded in growing small plants in the soil of the Moon, which has been devoid of life for billions of years. The research indicates that in the future, astronauts will be able to farm their own greenhouses on the Moon.
Added nutrients for plants to the soil:
According to the study published in Nature, the soils used in the study were soils obtained from the Apollo 11, Apollo 12 and Apollo 17 missions. Scientists have added nutrients and water to the soil because these soils, unlike the soils on our Earth, have no minerals or ions.
After planting, the mouse-ear cress plant (Arabidopsis thalian) successfully greened in the lunar soil. On the other hand, the results obtained in the study also showed that growing plants in the lunar soil is quite challenging. It was reported that the development of plants in the lunar soil is slow, and most of them show stress morphologies. However, all plants grown showed ionic stresses similar to the reaction of plants in Earth’s soil to salt, metal and reactive oxygen.