Lunar crater captured by the Apollo 11 mission -NASA
Oct. 7 () –
The Australian space company Lunaria One, in collaboration with universities in the southern country and Israel, aims to start growing plants on the moon by 2025.
The Australian Lunar Experiment for the Promotion of Horticulture (ALEPH) Lunaria One will be the first in a series of experiments to investigate whether plants can not only tolerate but thrive on the lunar surface. The project is a first step toward growing plants for the production of food, medicine and oxygen, which are crucial to establishing human life on the moon. reports the ANU (Australian National University).
The seeds and plants will be transported in a purpose-built camera aboard SpaceIL’s Israeli Beresheet 2 spacecraft. The chamber will contain sensors, a camera, and water.
The researchers hope that the lessons learned from this mission will help unlock new methods to drive sustainable food production on Earth and bolster food security in the face of climate-driven weather disasters.
The mission is an international collaboration between several institutions, including Queensland University of Technology (QUT), RMIT University, ANU and Ben Gurion University in Israel, as well as industry bodies.
The types of plants sent to the moon will be carefully selected based on how quickly they germinate and their tolerance to extreme temperature changes experienced in space.
One of the plants to be considered for the mission is a resurrection herb Australian native known as Tripogon loliiformis it can withstand harsh conditions and survive in a dormant state for months without water.
“Even after losing more than 95 percent of its relative water content, grass that appears dead remains alive and pre-existing tissues flourish when provided with water,” said Dr. Brett Williams, a plant biologist at QUT.
“Resurrection seeds and plants can survive in a dehydrated dormant state and will be transported in a hermetically sealed chamber on the lunar lander and hopefully germinate and reactivate with irrigation,” Dr Williams said.
After landing on the lunar surface, The growth and general health of the plants will be monitored for 72 hours and the data and images will be transmitted to Earth. Citizen scientists and schoolchildren around the world will be invited to use the data to conduct their own experiments to identify which plant varieties have the best chance of growing on the moon.