Aug 13, 2008

Plant Experiment on Lunar Lander

NASA scientists have suggested conducting plant growth experiments on the moon's surface prior to future human missions.

This might be good secondary payload on a Google Lunar X PRIZE mission, being a first experiment at In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) approaches on the moon. Although, it would take a special plant to survive approximately 2 weeks of darkness during a lunar night.

Considering the high delta-V needed to soft land on the moon, it's clear that future lunar bases will benefit greatly from any reduction in the delivered mass. Lunar regolith, or some of its components, might even provide some of the nutrients for plant growth, thus eliminating even more mass that needs to be delivered to future lunar bases.

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