May 21, 2024 at 3:27 pm

This “Lunar Farm” Proves Plants Can Grow On The Moon

by Trisha Leigh

Source: YouTube

The Martian might have proved (in theory) that potatoes could grow on Mars, but what about farming on the moon?

Well, this “lunar farm” has had some pretty impressive success that seems to prove plants could grow there, too.

In fact, these two new papers suggest they might even prefer the low gravity on the lunar surface to what Earth has to offer.

Chang’e 4 carried the seeds of 4 plant species that it hoped might grow on the lunar surface.

It’s taken 4+ years but the data from that experiment is finally rolling in – and it suggests growing food in space might not be nearly as much of a challenge as scientists have feared.

There are still many hurdles to clear and a ton of questions still to be answered.

Source: 20th Century Fox

The plants grown from Chang’e 4’s seeds thrived in the low gravity and high radiation environment, but were not actually grown in lunar soil.

In fact, the low gravity actually helps offset some difficulties experienced away from Earth.

“We discovered that the 1/6g moon gravity speeds up seed germination.”

The cotton seed fared the best, but for all of them, the long night – temperatures dropping to -61°F for 18 days – was worrisome for the researchers.

However, it seemed to be doing just fine when light returned, and researchers suspect the low gravity triggered a freezing resistance seen in some polar plants on Earth.

None of the other plants sprouted, and the cotton seedling did not survive a second lunar night.

Still, researchers believe this proves there are some advantages to farming on the moon, like the lack of pests and weeds, and therefore the chemicals we use to hold them at bay.

Plants grown on the ISS have proven low or no gravity don’t bother many plants, and scientists are hopeful that they will fare well on Mars, too.

Only time will tell, but in the wise words of Ian Malcom, life finds a way.

Even in space.

If you thought that was interesting, you might like to read about a quantum computer simulation that has “reversed time” and physics may never be the same.