In 9th grade, I had the genius idea to test how different types of water effected plants’ ability to thrive. Not different ph levels or mineral levels or anything like that. I literally just took three Lamb’s Ear plants and watered one with tap water, one with salt water, and one with sugar water.
This was a science project for an honors biology class I probably never should have been enrolled in. Obviously, I should have sought guidance from my teacher.
Salty and Sweet died in a matter of days and the other one died shortly thereafter because, really, I didn’t care. I’d already done well enough in the class that I could bomb the science project and still pass with a B- as long as I aced the fetal pig dissection (which I did – the fetal pig dissection was the only reason I’d signed up for Honors Biology in the first place).
But, plants! That’s why we’re here!
The Moon obviously has no atmosphere and is inhospitable to life. So, NASA is constructing a plant habitat which will be transported to the Moon along with turnips, beets, and Arabidopsis seeds on the Moon Express, a lunar lander that’s part of Google’s Lunar XPrize.
Unlike my failed (and lame) science project, the point of the NASA/Google experiment isn’t about plants’ ability to thrive. It’s the first step in gauging human ability to thrive in a closed lunar habitat. If we send plants to the Moon and they thrive, then humans probably can, too.
The NASA/ Google Moon plant project is scheduled to start in late 2015. Which means I may actually get to see a lunar colony in my life time.
Or just Moon beets. I’ll take that, too.