Future missions to the Moon could see astronauts growing the first plants on the lunar surface. It has proven difficult to get lunar soil that can grow plants. Scientists may have finally had a breakthrough in the process and believe putting Earth microbes into lunar soil could make it more habitable for plants.
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Previous research into growing plants within soil from the Moon has shown that the soil on our satellite contains several elements vital to plant growth. But experiments with lunar soil showed that .the Moon was just not good at growing crops How can we change that?
Sure, adding Earth microbes could be the key to getting lunar soils to produce plants with greater reliability. The microbes that have made our planet habitable in the past could be used to unlock the nutrients we found on the Moon.
This would then allow us to create lunar greenhouses effectively, allowing future missions to the Moon – like Artemis III – to set up growing areas and grow crops. It would be crucial for NASA, and other space agencies to create sustainable Moon bases within 50 to 60 years.
Of Course, more factors are at work than getting the lunar soil to behave. But this is a vital first step that astronomers and astronauts need to solve if we ever hope to create actual, sustainable colonies on other planets and planetary bodies.
A new study highlights the importance of microbes in improving the habitability of the soil on Moon for plants. Tests run on simulated lunar soil showed that plants grown with three species of bacteria (or microbes) had longer stems and roots after just six days of growth than those grown in normal simulated lunar soil without the additional microbes.
With the focus on colonizing outer space, it is important that these logistical issues are solved early, particularly if such missions want to continue beyond their original windows.
The post Earth microbes could help astronauts grow plants in lunar soil appeared first on BGR.