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Study: Successful cultivation of a plant in soil brought from the moon |  Science and Technology |  The latest discoveries and studies from DW Arabic |  DW

Study: Successful cultivation of a plant in soil brought from the moon | Science and Technology | The latest discoveries and studies from DW Arabic | DW

A study published in the journal “Communications Biology” showed that researchers from the University of Florida were able for the first time to grow plants in a few grams of soil taken from the moon, which was brought decades ago by astronauts belonging to the “Apollo” program.

This success raises hopes that one day it will be possible to plant plants directly on the moon, which will save future explorers a large amount of expensive tools to take on their longer and farther space journeys.

Aside from providing food security in space, this research has other potential benefits that may also help astronauts purify the air, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, produce clean water, and develop food sources for future astronauts who will live in space.

In their study, the researchers used Arabidopsis seeds collected from different places on the moon during three separate Apollo flights about 50 years ago: Apollo 11 and 12 (1969) and Apollo 17 (1972). And they put in very small pots about a gram of soil and added water to it, then seeds, and they added a nutrient solution on a daily basis.

On the right of the picture, plants planted in lunar soil, and on the left, plants planted in volcanic ash

At the same time, seeds were sown in volcanic ash, a lunar-like substance that mimics lunar and Martian soil, with the aim of using them to compare with seeds planted in lunar soil. Less than 48 hours later, the scientists saw growth in both groups, but after a few days they noticed that plants grown in lunar soil grew slower and withered under stress.

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Rob Ferrell, who co-authored the study, said that despite the plant’s wilting, the experiment constitutes “the beginning of an important success” in this field, adding that this study is important for NASA’s long-term human exploration goals and to help astronauts on lunar missions grow their own food and reduce the need. To frequent supplies of land. Knowing that there is still a lot of research and work to be done before reaching the implantation on the moon.

Claire Roth / AA/KH (DW)