The researchers first grew plants in the lunar soil, and the result surprised them

Plants in lunar soil and in control samples according to Anny-Lisy Paulové from the University of Florida looked about the same by the sixth day. Then differences emerged. Plants grown in lunar soil began to show stress, developed more slowly, and ended up stunted. Even so, according to scientists, it is a breakthrough that has “terrestrial” consequences.

“This research is critical to NASA’s long-term human exploration goals, as we will need to use the resources found on the Moon and Mars to develop food sources for future astronauts living and working in deep space.” said the head of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration Bill Nelson. He added that research is also important for the Earth, as it can contribute to agricultural innovations that will help grow plants in difficult conditions.

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One of the problems researchers face is the lack of lunar soil for similar experiments. Over a three-year period since 1969, NASA astronauts have brought 382 kilograms of lunar rocks, stones, sand and dust from the lunar surface. A team of scientists from the University of Florida received only a gram of lunar soil per plant for the experiment.

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