Wednesday / 18 May 2016

Dutch Study Tests Vegetable Growth With Moon, Mars Soil Simulants

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Lunar Soil Simulant Being Tested As Grow Medium For Tomatoes, Peas, Rye, Radishes, Cress, Arugula By Agricultural Researchers At Wageningen University, Netherlands; Ecologist Dr. Wieger Wamelink Notes 1st Attempt Most Plants Died In Moon Dirt Due To Low Water Absorption, Adding Fresh Cut Grass Allowed Plants To Thrive; Risk Of Heavy Metal Contamination Could Be Mitigated By Growing Violets, Other Species That Take In Toxins; Soil Analogs Sourced From Arizona Desert (Moon) And Hawaii Volcano (Mars) Via NASA At Cost Of US$3,080 Per 100kg

Credit: Wageningen UR, NASA

Wednesday / 15 October 2014

Space Horizons 2015:
McMurdo On The Moon?

LED101514Brown University Hosts Annual NASA Sponsored Event Space Horizons 2015, 18-19 Feb; Antarctic McMurdo Station Inspires Asking “What Can 50+ Years Of Science In The Toughest Setting On Earth Tell Us About Working On The Moon?”; Workshops Examine Analog For Breakthrough Technologies To Realize Lunar Settlement; Brown’s 250-Year Anniversary Celebration Highlighted By Contributions In Planetary Science; Cutting Edge Virtual Reality Exhibit Allows Viewer To Fly Over Moon And Antarctica; Online Registration Now Open

 Image Credit: USAP, NASA, Brown University

Wednesday / 17 September 2014

Lunar Agriculture Study Indicates Potential Viability / Challenges

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1st Large-Scale Controlled Experiment Investigating Plant Growth In Moon & Mars Soil Simulant; Research Led By Wieger Wamelink At Wageningen University In The Netherlands Indicates Plants Able To Germinate & Grow In Both Moon & Mars Simulant For 50 Days With No Additional Nutrients Though Poor Water Retention, High pH & Toxic Metals Pose Challenge For Lunar Agriculture; Study Utilized 4,200 Seeds Of Agricultural Crops, Wild Plants & Nitrogen Fixers; Further Research Needed On Characteristics Of Extra-Terrestrial Soils, Means Of Irrigation & Importing Friendly Bacteria, Fungi & Pollinators

Image Credit: NASA, wageningenur.nl

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 1-4 August 2014

Lunar Plant Growth Experiment Small Step Toward Human Moon Habitation

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Small Containers Of Seeds Will Be Sent By NASA On 2015 GLXP Team Moon Lander To Evaluate If Plants Can Germinate In Low-Gravity / High Radiation Lunar Environment; ~1-kg Payload Will Contain Arabidopsis Seeds, Cameras, Sensors, Communications Equipment, 5-10 Days Of Air; Duplicate Canisters Will Be Sent To USA Schools For Comparison; If Initial Experiment Successful NASA Plans To Put Garden On Lunar Surface To See If Plants Can Survive Frigid Lunar Night & If Multiple Generations Can Continue 

Image Credit: NASA