For The First Time, Scientists Have Grown Plants in Moon Soil. It Didn't Go Great
When the Artemis program returns humans to the Moon in (hopefully) a few years' time, there are considerable logistics that need to be addressed for keeping such fragile beings alive in such a hostile environment.
Not least is the issue of food. Space agencies involved in the International Space Station are very experienced, by now,
in providing pre-packed provisions, but there are advantages to having access to fresh food, including to both physical and mental health.
If lunar soil were to prove an amenable medium for growing fresh crops, that would be amazing. So a team of scientists used a few precious
grams of actual lunar samples collected during the Apollo missions to attempt to grow plants – specifically, thale cress, or Arabidopsis thaliana.
"For future, longer space missions, we may use the Moon as a hub or launching pad.
It makes sense that we would want to use the soil that's already there to grow plants," says horticultural scientist Rob Ferl of the University of Florida.