There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of human colony on the Moon one day, but before we can live in space, NASA is launching a mission to see if vegetables can survive there.
In a NASA press release, the space agency explained:
If we send plants and they thrive, then we probably can. Thriving plants are needed for life support (food, air, water) for colonists. And plants provide psychological comfort, as the popularity of the greenhouses in Antarctica and on the Space Station show.
The plants will not be planted in the soil as they would down here on Earth, rather they will be grown in a protective terrarium. The small container will only weigh 1kg, and will contain seedlings, filter paper, water and air and is planned to head to the Moon in 2015 with the commercial lunar lander, the Moon Express lander. There is enough air in the container for five to ten days of growth – enough to provide a glimpse of whether or not lunar gardening is possible.
Someday, what we learn from this and the follow-up experiments will enable us to live in deep space.