Scientists grow plants on lunar soil for the first time

ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker says soil and plant samples brought back from the moon by the Apollo missions were used to grow life for the first time.

“We know that lunar soil is similar to Earth’s, but it’s lower in a lot of nutrients, so there’s a lot less nitrogen, there’s iron in the soil – now we understand that on Earth , there’s also carbon in the ground,” he told Sky News Australia.

Dr Tucker said scientists using this soil have “always grown up analog”, meaning samples were made using what the composition was supposed to be, but this time they took real dust moon and used it to grow plants.

“Now that’s a really big step because they didn’t, you know, use fertilizer, they didn’t add any supplements to the soil, they just said ‘there’s enough for the get it started,'” he said.

“There is certainly the beginning of what becomes a very important subject as we send humans back to the moon.”

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