The initiative comes courtesy of the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team – a small group of scientists, students, volunteers and contractors – who plan to install specially-designed containers about the size of a coffee can, in which the plants will be encased, complete with sensors, cameras and other devices that will be relaying information down to Earth.
This is to be the first life sciences project conducted on another world and is ambitious about exploring opportunities for future human life support, apart from the obvious benefits of learning more about growing life in extreme temperatures.
The dream is to be able to freely live on the moon for decades on end – instead of hours. Follow-up experiments are already in the making.
The idea, according to the space scientists, is “to develop a very simple sealed growth chamber that can support germination over a five-10 day period in a spacecraft on the moon,” with filter paper used to feed dissolved nutrients to the plant.