Can We Grow Plants on the Moon?


At the beginning of the week, a lot of websites and reports offered some revolutionary news: a plant seed had germinated successfully on the moon, which is part of an early experiment that tests whether food could be grown on the moon in the future so the residents of a lunar base can use it for food. Earlier this month China’s Chang’e 4 lander arrived at a far side of the moon, and the cotton sprout that we talked about above was inside a canister on the lander. Unfortunately, the first lunar plant is no longer alive due to the low temperatures of the lunar night that made it froze to death.

According to GBTimes, head of the experiment at Chongqing University, Liu Hanlong said a few days ago during a government press conference that the 1-liter-capacity canister’s temperature had reached –52 degrees Celcius which made the experiment end.

Based on what the head of the experiment, Liu Hanlong, said, the experiment could not continue environmental control, especially during the lunar nighttime when it did not carry a battery that could have helped. Mass constraints for the mission are what kept scientists from bringing the battery and also the own power demands of the lander.

According to Xie (Genxin), professor and designer of the experiment at Chongqing University, even though this is a biological payload for trying to popularise science, it laid technological and foundation support for what is next to be done in the future, and that is a lunar base for living.

With that being said, we can undoubtedly affirm that the possibilities of humanity will grow in the future regarding the life on the moon and this is just the trial phase. Scientists need to try out a few ideas before finding the one that works the best.


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