Between 1969 and 1972, astronauts collected lunar particles throughout NASA’s Apollo missions. Since then, geologists have analyzed specimens to review the origins and composition of the Moon, however organic research have been missing.
That’s as a result of vegetation change the soil that they’re grown in, says Paul, and so would contaminate the samples. “When you introduce air and moisture to regolith, you begin to change the construction of it,” says Paul.
The experiment means that regolith could be helpful for rising meals on the Moon. It additionally reveals how vegetation form aliens soil, permitting future missions to the Moon, Mars or elsewhere to seek for telltale indicators that foliage as soon as grew.
“We now have in our laboratories samples from the Moon that had been invaded by biology,” says Ferl.
[This story was originally published in the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of Discover magazine, Astronomy‘s sister publication, as “First Plants Grown in Lunar Soil.” Click here to subscribe to read more stories like this one.]
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