The Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team plans to experiment growing plants on the moon in a 2015 mission.
The space agency’s experiment will use coffee can sized containers to protect the plants from the moon’s extreme climate. The plants growth will be monitored by electronic sensors and cameras, from which data will be transmitted back to earth for analysis.
In the experiment, after landing on the moon, water will be added to the seeds, initiating germination. The moon’s natural sunlight will be used as the source of illumination.
What will be grown in the containers? Turnip, basil, and Arabidopsis, which is a plant often used in plant biology research.
NASA believes this research will yield valuable knowledge on how life will fare on the moon, given it’s high levels of radiation, which has been known to damage genetic material. It will also give some insight on whether a manned moon base is plausible.