Scientists were trying to sprout plants on the lunar soil from quite a long time. According to the recent journal published on May 2022, NASA scientists and University of Florida scientists jointly claimed that they successfully sprout and grow plants on the soil collected from the lunar surface. This extravagant milestone is a mark of stepping forward to the space exploration.
The lunar soil is the samples collected from Apollo 11, 12, and 17 missions. Those missions took back few lunar soil samples for these kinds of experiments. If human can able to sprout and grow plants, vegetables on the lunar soil then could it be possible to grow them on Moon also? But, the experiment is made on Arabidopsis plants, which is relative to mustard greens.
NASA is planning to take American astronauts to the Moon. Most probably built a base and stay there to study more deeply to the lunar soil and grow plants and vegetables for oxygen supply and food supply. This project is known as Artemis project where NASA is eyeing to send multiple astronauts especially for this purpose and the recent achievement on the Arabidopsis plant is the key moment for the project.
Sounds like a movie? Yes, in “The Martian” film we saw that astronaut Matt Damon grow potatoes on the mars soil. He used human waste as fertilizer, mars soil as the soil and lab-generated carbon-Di-oxide for potatoes to grow. After few failed attempts he was able to grow them successfully. But, that is in the movies, will be much different and difficult in the real world.
Scientists tested the soil samples with different plants taking only a gram of it. Then they added sufficient water and seeds and experimented in different environments. Experiment was successful for Arabidopsis plant which comes from mustard green genre. That doesn’t mean it was successful for other plants as well.
And the environment was favorable to grow on that particular plant, that doesn’t mean the environment will be same for the other plants and vegetables to grow as well. If you think on the large scale, it will not be easy to plug on Moon as the conditions there will be no favorable like the University of California Labs. Sprouting proper seeds, implementing correct amount of water and the favorable conditions to grow vegetables and large plants will be very difficult on the Moon bases. Astronauts have to build right environment at first to grow plants there. So if you think growing plant on moon’s soil here in the earth can now open the gateway to farm on the Moon then you’re not correct. You have to wait a long to see that future become practically possible. But yes, the recent achievement is the big step for that kind of future.