Humans will return to the moon, and NASA hopes to achieve that by 2024. As the lunar exploration program progresses, NASA scientists are also actively studying how to plant things on the moon to provide plenty of food for future colonies on the moon or Mars. In a newly released blog post on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s website, the new crown outbreak, while forcing scientists to work from home, has not stopped them from testing studies on plants growing in different soil environments.
“We’re trying to show astronauts that they can use horticulture to grow their own food on the moon,” MAX Coleman, a NASA scientist, said in a statement. We wanted to take a small step in this direction to prove that the lunar soil contains something that can be extracted as nutrients for plants. This includes obtaining the right chemical elements for plants to make chlorophyll and grow cell walls.”
One of the keys to perfecting the art of growing plants in lunar soil is to determine how much water you need. Ideally, you want to be able to use water as little as possible because it is a valuable resource that must be used in a conservation way. When testing radish plants under different soil moisture conditions, the researchers stumbled upon a major event. Plants respond better to low soil moisture, and in the tests, they germinate faster.
“We can’t do the right tests on Earth perfectly simulating lunar soil, but we’re here to test as much as we can,” Coleman explained. Then we have to prove that it is actually feasible on the moon.”