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Robots in the Garden: Odyssey Moon Partnering With Paragon To Put Greenhouses On the Moon March 23, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in : lunar plantlife, Odyssey Moon, Paragon , 3comments

Leonard David (a space reporting vet who often has insider tidbits at various locales), over at the Coalition for Space Exploration‘s blog, reports that leading Google Lunar X Prize contender Odyssey Moon and space development corporation Paragon will announce this week that they have teamed up for one giant leap for plantkind: delivering a biological greenhouse to the Moon’s surface.

“Growing the first plant on another world has enormous symbolic importance as well as important scientific research value for creating self-contained lunar outposts and eventual settlements, notes Odyssey Moon founder, Bob Richards.” -“Moon Partnership: Green Thumbs Up“, Leonard David, Spacecoalition.com

Paragon is a company with a long list of projects, many thermal and biological, for NASA; SpaceX‘s groundbreaking Dragon capsule; and others.

This is one of the first Odyssey Moon missions to become public besides their Google Lunar X PRIZE effort, “MoonOne“; “MoonTwo”, a mission delivering an International Lunar Observatory to the moon, was announced last July.

The Artemis Project has a solid essay on the subject of lunar greenhouses. Being able to generate oxygen and food on the Moon will be a big boon; the concept seems like an inevitable one as part of lunar development, and to get started now makes a lot of sense. A greenhouse could be cared for robotically, and getting a headstart will help the technology be ready by the time colonists arrive around 2020-2024.

Robots growing plants on a world with no humans… now there’s an interesting existential concept for ya.

One Giant Leap for Plantkind? July 27, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in : gravity, lunar plantlife, radiation , add a comment

According to a nifty Wired.com blog article, NASA scientists put forward the idea this week of launching plants to the moon and watching their growth carefully, as a way of studying the potential effects of long-term habitation (low gravity, radiation, etc.).

The brave plant suggested for the job is Arabidopsis thaliana, part of the mustard family:

Moon colonist?

Check out the linked article for a full rundown of thaliana‘s moon-faring resume.

Interesting things could potentially happen when you mix plants and lunar radiation/soil/etc., but regardless, this is an idea that is a potential wonder of effectiveness through simplicity.