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Scientists have grown plants in soil from the Moon for the first time


Why it matters: Further research could help us understand which plants are best suited for growing in lunar regolith as well as which parts of the Moon are most fertile. All of this, in turn, could also allow astronauts to grow plants in soil from Mars someday.

According to a recently published study funded by NASA, scientists have successfully grown plants in soil brought back from the Moon.

Six Apollo missions collected a total of 381kg of lunar soil and rocks, and last year NASA finally decided to donate 12g of it to the University of Florida. There, researchers planted thale cress seeds, an easily-growable plant native to Eurasia and Africa, in approximately a gram of soil each and moistened it with a nutrient solution daily. They also planted a control group in JSC-1A volcanic ash used to simulate lunar soil.

For the first time ever, scientists have grown plants ...


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