Scientists Grow Plants in Lunar Soil for the first time

The University of Florida has taken the next giant leap for mankind, making history as the first to grow plants in lunar soil.

Using just a few teaspoons from the Apollo missions, UF IFAS’ tiny lunar garden will have a huge impact on NASA’s Artemis Program returning humans to the Moon – helping pave the way for life there. A milestone in lunar and space exploration.

In a new paper published in the journal “Communications Biology,” University of Florida researchers showed that plants can successfully sprout and grow in lunar soil. Their study also investigated how plants respond biologically to the moon’s soil, also known as lunar regolith, which is radically different from soil found on Earth.

This work is a first step toward one day growing plants for food and oxygen on the moon or during space missions. More immediately, this research comes as the Artemis Program plans to return humans to the moon.

“Artemis will require a better understanding of how to grow plants in space,” said Rob Ferl, one of the study’s authors and a distinguished professor of horticultural sciences in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

source University of Florida