Scientists Have Grown Plants in Lunar Soil for the First Time by@saragpinto

Scientists Have Grown Plants in Lunar Soil for the First Time

In this slogging thread, the space channel community discussed the new discovery about the moon and the possibilities it can bring to space exploration. Researchers used small samples of dust collected during the 1969-1972 Apollo missions to grow a plant. The seeds sprouted after two days. The research is critical to Nasa's long-term human exploration goals.
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Sara Pinto

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After 53 years of the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, we reach a new milestone related to space exploration. The crews that went on the expenditures to the Moon were able to recollect enough soil to experiment with plant growth. Now, in 2022, we are finally able to grow plants on lunar soil. What doors can this discovery open for science?

This Slogging thread by Sara Pinto and Mónica Freitas occurred in slogging's official #space channel, and has been edited for readability.

Sara PintoMay 19, 2022, 2:40 PM

Will long-term stays on the moon finally be possible?

Sara PintoMay 19, 2022, 2:41 PM

"Scientists have grown plants in lunar soil for the first time, an important step towards making long-term stays on the moon possible.
Researchers used small samples of dust collected during the 1969-1972 Apollo missions to grow a type of cress.
Much to their surprise, the seeds sprouted after two days.
But those involved say it is a breakthrough - and one that has earthly implications."

Sara PintoMay 19, 2022, 2:43 PM

"This research is critical to Nasa's long-term human exploration goals as we'll need to use resources found on the Moon and Mars to develop food sources for future astronauts living and operating in deep space," said Nasa chief Bill Nelson.

Sara PintoMay 19, 2022, 2:44 PM

"This fundamental plant growth research is also a key example of how Nasa is working to unlock agricultural innovations that could help us understand how plants might overcome stressful conditions in food-scarce areas here on Earth."

Sara PintoMay 19, 2022, 2:44 PM

"Nasa plans to land humans on the moon for the first time since 1972 in a mission scheduled for 2025."

Sara PintoMay 19, 2022, 2:46 PM

What are your takes on this? Do you think that in 2025 we will be able to plant any seed on the moon? Mónica Freitas Jack Boreham Limarc Ambalina

Mónica FreitasMay 20, 2022, 2:36 PM

And how are they getting water on the moon?! This seems unlikely to me. Sure they were able to grow a plant with the moon's soil, but they needed other agents for it to work: water, an agreeable atmosphere, and sunlight. How will they ensure all of these conditions while on the moon? Sara Pinto

Sara PintoMay 23, 2022, 4:47 PM

Mónica Freitas, those are definitely crucial elements, however, it doesn't mean this achievement isn't groundbreaking. Maybe they won't be able to plant anything by 2025, but it definitely opens the door to experiment with this accomplishment. Out of the four elements, we know we can work with this type of soil, it's a start. We are constantly innovating, why not try to create the artificial conditions necessary to make this work?

Mónica FreitasMay 23, 2022, 5:16 PM

Sara Pinto not saying that it isn't an achievement but I'm not sure how helpful it'll be if we'll still need to invest heavily in infrastructures to try to get it running. How are they going to make sure they're water on the moon constantly? And are they going to build a hub so that the plants survive?
These are all questions that need to be considered before planting on the moon is even a possibility.

Mónica FreitasMay 23, 2022, 5:18 PM

Sara Pinto also under who's jurisdiction will this be? A single country? An organization?
Is this even fair or right?
What's their take on marijuana plantation?! 😂
Crucial questions

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Sara PintoMay 24, 2022, 5:26 PM

Mónica Freitas, for sure! But we have to keep on investing if we wish to go further. So, even if it is a costly and long process, it could still be worth it. A hub sounds good, actually haha, but I'm not in a position to answer these important questions haha

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Sara PintoMay 24, 2022, 5:28 PM

Mónica Freitas, so far, NASA is the one doing these experiments. The sad part is that probably most countries/organizations don't have enough budget to also do this type of stuff.
I don't know which plants they would give priority haha

Mónica FreitasMay 25, 2022, 9:32 AM

Sara Pinto I'm scared of the privatization that might occur here. If one organization or country takes full control of this initiative, then the rest of the world will be beggars of whatever outcome. And the moon will be treated like a private asset.

Sara PintoMay 30, 2022, 4:42 PM

Mónica Freitas, space exploration is already very narrow when it comes to who's doing it. Nevertheless, that is a good point. I don't know how we could overcome this though. There's not much competition and we can't ask for other organizations to stop exploring

Mónica FreitasMay 30, 2022, 5:47 PM

Sara Pinto, maybe it starts to fall under the UN's jurisdiction or another world organization, making it fairer

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