Plant and moon

Space Sprouts

Some of our favorite science fiction (like Kim Stanley Robinson’s epic Mars Trilogy) involves terraforming distant Earth-like planets in the hope of generating functional ecosystems and sustaining human life. But what’s wrong with the planetary bodies right in our own backyard?

In 2015, NASA plans to launch the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat into space to create the first lunar greenhouse. The mini-habitat, which will be full of over 100 seeds of varying types and all the necessities for plant growth, will have to endure intense radiation and partial gravity before landing on the Moon. If the seeds are able to germinate, scientists may be one step closer to determining whether sustaining life on other planets is possible.

To learn more, check out this article at Discover Magazine.

Image courtesy of ilya of Flickr, used under CC BY 2.0 license.