Plants have been grown in lunar soil for the first time ever

70 points1
perihelions4 hours ago
hprotagonist4 hours ago

... and they _hate_ it!

112358132134554 hours ago

Not very surprising, as long as you add the missing piece which is water

danparsonson3 hours ago

I disagree - Terran soil is much more than just rock dust and water.

ghostpepper3 hours ago

They added the required nutrients as well. I don't mean to downplay the importance of basic science but what does this really prove?

ascar2 hours ago

It proves we can grow plants in the available regolith. Given the results of the experiment as shown in the article a not all obvious result that highlights some challenges. E.g. the plant growing in the Apollo 11 sample turned purple from all the stress, while plants in all moon samples grew slower and showed genetic stress markers. That alone should tell us that growing plants there isn't just adding water and nutrients.

TaylorAlexander2 hours ago

Without reading the article I suspect the benefit is not needing to bring loads of earth soil on moon missions. Of course there’s also hydroponics but idk if it works for every possible plant. Having another option seems good.

nousermane3 hours ago

Whole experiment is plain absurd. From

> There are two profound differences in the chemistry of lunar regolith and dirt from terrestrial materials. The first is that the Moon is very dry. As a result, those minerals with water as part of their structure (mineral hydration) such as clay, mica, and amphiboles are absent from the Moon's surface.

> The second difference is that lunar regolith and crust are chemically reduced, rather than being significantly oxidized like the Earth's crust.

They added water and oxygen. Which undoes both of above. So they ended up with more or less aseptic earth dirt. And yeah, plants grow in that, duh.

jandrese3 hours ago
wgj3 hours ago

The article answers that several different ways.

alpple2 hours ago

It could read: Plants grown, despite being placed in lunar soil.