Scientists Grow Plants in Moon Soil – A First in Human History

Scientists have grown plants in soil from the Moon, a first in human history and a watershed moment in lunar and space exploration.

In a new research paper published in the journal Communications Biology on May 12, 2022, University of Florida scientists showed that plants can successfully sprout and grow in lunar soil. Their study also looked into how plants respond biologically to the Moon’s soil, also known as lunar regolith, which is radically different from typical soil found on Earth.
This research is a first step toward growing plants for food and oxygen on the Moon or during space missions in the future. More immediately, this research comes as the Artemis Program plans to return humans to the Moon.

“Artemis will require a better understanding of how to grow plants in space,” said Rob Ferl, one of the study’s authors and a distinguished professor of horticultural sciences in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

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