Category Archives: Science

Plants sprout – and die – on moon

China's Moon Plants That Sprouted Are Already Dead

The moon is a lifeless world once again.

The cotton plants that sprouted on the moon’s far side aboard China’s Chang’e 4 lander are dead, done in by the bitter cold of the lengthy lunar night, GBTimes reported today (Jan. 16).

These photosynthesizing pioneers were part of Chang’e 4’s biological experiment, which also included seeds of potato, rapeseed and Arabidopsis plants, as well as fruit-fly eggs and yeast. These organisms were encased in a 5.7-lb. (2.6 kilograms) canister, which touched town on the lunar far side with the Chang’e 4 lander-rover duo on the night of Jan. 2. [Photos from the Moon’s Far Side! China’s Chang’e 4 Lunar Landing in Pictures]

The experiment — which began just hours after the historic touchdown inside the far side’s 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater — aimed to assess how plants and animals grow and develop in the alien lunar environment. The moon’s surface features low gravity, high radiation levels and extreme temperature swings.

Food for Mars: The Restart

Easy science fair project

he goal of these experiments is to provide the first (human) Martians with fresh food, much like the possible future Martian Sheldon Cooper, who also volunteered to go to Mars in a recent episode of the Big Bang Theory. I wonder what he would like to eat on Mars, probably not his apparent favourite, take away food, since it will be rather cold when it arrives.

Food for Mars: Organic Matter and Bacteria

What are stem projects?

At the start of the experiment we mixed organic matter and green grass from another experiment (for the purists Lolium perenne L.) with the Mars and moon soil simulants. It should provide the crops with more nutrients and thus enhance growth. But there is more to it, much more. This is the fourth post in a blog series about experiments conducted by a team of ecologists and crop scientists from Wageningen UR in the Netherlands. The goal of these experiments is a proof of concepts for providing the first (human) Martians with own-grown fresh food. Make sure to read our

What the heck is a space farmer

Easy science fair project

At the end of the 1960’s America used its combined mathematics, science, and engineering prowess to innovate never-before-conceived systems and procedures to deliver human boots to the moon. As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin shuffled their way across Mare Tranquillitatis, people young and old envisioned a future in space — a peaceful coexistance where humanity used scientific investigation as a vessel to constructively channel our natural curiosity about the universe around us.

NASA Farming on the Moon

Survival to 14 days demonstrates plants can sprout in the Moon’s radiation environment at 1/6 g. Survival to 60 days demonstrates that sexual reproduction (meiosis) can occur in a lunar environment. Survival to 180 days shows effects of radiation on dominant & recessive genetic traits. Afterwards, the experiment may run for months through multiple generations, increasing science return. Source: NASA.gov

Astronauts May Grow Better Salads On Mars Than On The Moon

How To Grow Crops On Mars If We Are To Live On The Red Planet Astronauts May Grow Better Salads On Mars Than On The Moon

Setting up lunar or Martian colonies will require that explorers raise their own food. New research finds that simulated Martian soil supported plant life better than both simulated moon soil and low-quality soil from Earth. But many problems must be solved before astronauts can pick their first extraterrestrial eggplant. The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE.

Advanced-Level Science Projects: Can Healthy Plants Be Grown in Mars Soil Containing No Microorganisms?

Mas dirt for science fair projects

Soil is home to a great number and wide range of microorganisms, among them algae, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

Although the number of microorganisms found in soil can sound alarming, it’s important to know that these tiny organisms need nutrients in order to grow and be active in the soil. If the soil lacks the necessary nutrients, the majority of microorganisms may be physiologically inactive.