Australian researchers to grow plants on moon by 2025


An Australian start-up announced a plan on Friday to grow plants on the moon as early as 2025.

Lunaria One launched its project to investigate whether plant life can thrive on the lunar surface.

Caitlin Byrt, an associate professor at the Australian National University (ANU) and science adviser for the company, said the mission was a "unique" opportunity to use knowledge of plant germination resilience to identify plants that could survive on the moon.

Plants will be chosen for the project based on how quickly they germinate and their tolerance to extreme conditions.

The team hopes the research will unlock new methods for sustainable food production and boost food security.

"If you can create a system for growing plants on the moon, then you can create a system for growing food in some of the most challenging environments on the Earth," Byrt said in a media release.

Dehydrated dormant seeds and plants for the mission will be sent to the moon in a specially-designed chamber on board the Beresheet 2 spacecraft, an Israeli moon mission.

Upon landing on the moon, they will be germinated and reactivated through watering. Their growth and health will be monitored for 72 hours, with data made available to scientists around the world.

The team includes scientists from Australia, Israel, South Africa and the United States, according to the ANU.

(With input from Xinhua)

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