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NASA's Next Frontier: Growing Plants On the Moon

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the to-boldly-grow dept.

Space 193

An anonymous reader writes in with news about a NASA project that aims to grow plants on the moon in specially made containers. "In 2015, NASA will attempt to make history by growing plants on the Moon. If they are successful, it will be the first time humans have ever brought life to another planetary body. The Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team, a group of NASA scientists, contractors, students and volunteers, is finally bringing to life an idea that has been discussed and debated for decades. They will try to grow arabidopsis, basil, sunflowers, and turnips in coffee-can-sized aluminum cylinders that will serve as plant habitats. But these are no ordinary containers – they’re packed to the brim with cameras, sensors, and electronics that will allow the team to receive image broadcasts of the plants as they grow. These habitats will have to be able to successfully regulate their own temperature, water intake, and power supply in order to brave the harsh lunar climate."

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As exciting as... (5, Funny)

Schrockwell (867776) | about a year ago | (#45479449)

...watching grass grow.

Re:As exciting as... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479475)

My Steps for fixing the computer:
1) Figuratively condense the parts like you would see in Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.
2) Arrange the parts from least to greatest so as to not let them return to Ethersville.
3) Remotely bootstrap the latest and greatest bonds between all the parts.
4) Assemble the parts back into their past chords.

The Computer is now Fixed.

Careful what you ask for (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#45479661)

Those majestic plants 'braving the harsh lunar climate'.

You just might end up with something like this [youtube.com] .

Weed and Dandilions (3, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45479765)

They should plant weed and dandelions. It will grow anywhere. Pretty soon the whole moon will be green.

Re:Weed and Dandilions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479869)

Weed on the moon? Somehow I feel that will make space tourism much more popular ... ;-)

Re:Weed and Dandilions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480181)

Lunar Bud! Out of this world! You're gonna float all the way back down. Buds the size of watermelon in low grav. Tricomes glistening like stars, piled high like moon dust on every inch of it. Residents can buy an oz. at a time, tourists can buy 2 gm. Moon price: $200 gm. + tax @ 25%, Colorado would be SLIGHTLY cheaper.

Re:Weed and Dandilions (1)

RuffMasterD (3398975) | about a year ago | (#45480171)

First I thought "why would anyone even bother?". Then I realised, 24 hour sunshine and nobody for miles. And since it's partially legalised and taxed in some parts of the US this could be a good revenue sourse for NASA. Clever guys, very clever... Now they just need that space lift they've been talking about.

Re:Weed and Dandilions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480245)

Well, considering the relative weight of seeds versus the weight of the final product, as well as the cost of getting things up versus getting things down, this might stand a chance of being profitable...

Re:Weed and Dandilions (1)

Dthief (1700318) | about a year ago | (#45480301)

not to mention....you weigh 1 oz on the moon, and sell it as 1 oz on Earth.......not good business

Re:Weed and Dandilions (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | about a year ago | (#45480309)

Well, considering the relative weight of seeds versus the weight of the final product, as well as the cost of getting things up versus getting things down, this might stand a chance of being profitable...

If it heats up too much on the way into the atmosphere, the headlines won't be about greenhouse gases provoking global warming anymore ;-)

Re:Weed and Dandilions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480471)

24 hour sunshine

Someone's high.

Re:Weed and Dandilions (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45480487)

They should plant weed and dandelions. It will grow anywhere.

Sure, but what would that prove about the ability to grow normal plants on the moon?

I think they should plant triffids. Relieve the boredom of future dwellers who'll be living in tiny glass bubbles.

Re:As exciting as... (4, Funny)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | about a year ago | (#45479801)

Reminds me of the R.E.M. song: If you believe, they put a plant on the moon, plant on the moon...

Awesome (4, Interesting)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year ago | (#45479489)

Ok this is awesome.

Its been on my wishlist for unmanned travel that we'd try packaging up Earth plants and sending them to grow on alien worlds in some way. The Moon is a good starting point - Elon Musk got into SpaceX because he wanted to do it on Mars with a Greenhouse.

Personally I wish we'd just man up and shoot the appropriate organisms into Venus' atmosphere to start the terraforming process.

Re:Awesome (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#45479569)

Personally I wish we'd just man up and shoot the appropriate organisms into Venus' atmosphere to start the terraforming process.

I agree.

And as appropriate organisms, my vote goes for: Lawyers, politicians and lobbyists, in that order.

Re:Awesome (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479617)

I suggest that we put lobbyists before politicians on that list, otherwise we will end up with a brief period where we have lobbyists with no natural target, that could be ugly.

Re:Awesome (1)

gmclapp (2834681) | about a year ago | (#45480475)

Haha, nice. I'd give you a (+1) but no mod points. :(

Re:Awesome (4, Funny)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about a year ago | (#45479631)

Egads, man, just think what they'll do to poor Venus! It won't be terraforming, it would be terracide!

Re:Awesome (2)

aurb (674003) | about a year ago | (#45479653)

And then nuke the entire site from orbit - it's the only way to be sure.

Re:Awesome (2)

andrewbaldwin (442273) | about a year ago | (#45479659)

What about the phone sanitisers?

(http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Golgafrincham)

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479757)

Nah, nah, nah. Telephone sanitisers and Marketing Executives. Douglas Adams was right on that one.

Re:Awesome (3, Insightful)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#45480097)

And as appropriate organisms, my vote goes for: Lawyers, politicians and lobbyists, in that order.

They'll need clergy to minister to their spiritual needs...

Re:Awesome (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#45480355)

Spiritual needs? I didn't realise there were such things as Mammonite priests.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480691)

Ever heard of Scientology?

Re:Awesome (1)

Platinumrat (1166135) | about a year ago | (#45479687)

Awesome is an understatement. Until we actually can be self contained on another hunk of rock. The human race is in jeopardy of extinction.

Re:Awesome (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479743)

Never has there been a species more deserving of extinction than humanity.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479781)

Not going to lead by example, then?

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479791)

You cannot be trusted to follow.

Re:Awesome (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45479719)

How do you terraform a planet which has lost most of its hydrogen to space? The water's got to come from somewhere.

Re:Awesome (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#45479941)

You collect large amounts of H20 or frozen H2 somewhere in the solar system. Since it's frozen, you only need to give it a bump once to set it on a collision course with the planet, where it will rain down in gigantic torrents.

Admittedly, I've just made this up and have no clue. Would this work in principle?

Re:Awesome (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45480703)

I think the trick would be keeping it raining down faster than the existing processes would drive it off into space, although that's probably a given if you want to finish the process in a nongeological timescale anyway.

Re:Awesome (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#45480273)

That is not the main problem. From wikipedia: Most planets also rotate on their axis in an anti-clockwise direction, but Venus rotates clockwise (called "retrograde" rotation) once every 243 Earth daysâ"the slowest rotation period of any planet. A Venusian sidereal day thus lasts longer than a Venusian year.
Just like our moon, the Venus "day" is very very long and like that is the Venus night. I doubt a planet like this, even with a breathable atmosphere is habitable for humans. (Weather ... storms, climate)

Re:Awesome (2)

Dthief (1700318) | about a year ago | (#45480307)

house on wheels.....slowly moving, and always sunset

Re:Awesome (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#45479747)

I just wish I were born a little later than I was. I have a feeling that, someday, we'll look back on space farmers as a romantic lot. And if you have space farmers, you need space cowboys. I guess I'd rather be a space cowboy, then. And then when I get a little too old for that, I could retire to space farming. Never whaling, though.

Re:Awesome (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#45479901)

We don't have any such organisms, Venus suffered a major runaway greenhouse, it has virtually no hydrogen, it's oceans boiled and radiation blew the hydrogen into space over time. It's now deader than Mars, and we don't have the technology to resurrect it.

Re:Awesome (1)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#45480021)

Personally I wish we'd just man up and shoot the appropriate organisms into Venus' atmosphere to start the terraforming process.

I wonder how easy it would be to create a super-thin reflective film [wikipedia.org] at L1 on Venus to drop the sun's contribution below a certain threshold and let some of the atmosphere condense to the ground (hopefully the sulfuric acid part) and drop in pressure in the process. If you can send a few tons of base material and a manufacturing satellite... Of course the Venusians might object to that global cooling.

Re:Awesome (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#45480285)

I don't want to start a huge global warming debate, but the problem is you're talking huge expense and several hundred human generations before the desired effect would take place, and probably several hundred more generations before the planet could sustain any kind of life. We can't even get *one* generation of humans to agree to anything about climate on Earth without it degrading into a massive conspiracy name calling argument. Even if it means saving money in just twenty years by switching to renewable fuel sources like wind, solar and tidal power.

Reading comments on any CBC news story even remotely related to climate change has made me lose all hope for humanity. We're doomed whether we do something or not. Even if we did manage to reverse, or mitigate, climate change there's just too much stupid to believe we'd continue on as a species for much longer. I give it maybe two more generations before we forget how to breath and people start dying of asphyxiation syndrome.

Re:Awesome (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45480531)

-1, Elon Musk reference /his 15 min of fame are over

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480663)

We? Space travel is a waste of money with no economic value. With a boondoggle like NASA shut down, it can go far in paying off the enormous debt to China. First pay the bills, then go play Star Trek. We don't even have enough money here in the US to run the government until January 15, much less stay solvent on February 14'th. At least then, the nation will be back on Cruz control.

I knew it. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479501)

...it will be the first time humans have ever brought life to another planetary body.

So NASA is finally admitting that it never sent life [Astronauts] to another planetary body. Am guessing they may have sent dead ones in order to be able truthfully say yes we sent astronauts to the moon.

Re:I knew it. (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#45479733)

Yes, that is exactly it. If we ignore the technicality that no life ever touched another planetary body on purpose, you'd be spot on. Spacesuits and shit be damned, let's mangle reality to fit our agenda. Go, go gadget tinfoil hat - DEPLOY!

Re:I knew it. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45480017)

they're going to grow them on the moon soil?

Re:I knew it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479983)

The moon is not a planet. ...

Or is it?

Re:I knew it. (1)

Dthief (1700318) | about a year ago | (#45480317)

thats the real "moon landing" conspiracy

Non SI units (5, Insightful)

mikewilsonuk (1676196) | about a year ago | (#45479509)

The "coffee can" is a US unit unknown to the rest of the world. We buy our coffee in packets or jars (of differing sizes). How big is a coffee can?

Re:Non SI units (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479561)

American baristas' cans average around 34DD [huffingtonpost.com] .

Re:Non SI units (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45479767)

You wish. Starbucks ain't Hooters.

Re:Non SI units (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479859)

Too difficult to even read the headline on the link, huh?

Re:Non SI units (1)

ksemlerK (610016) | about a year ago | (#45479563)

6.1875 inches wide, by 7 inches high.

Re:Non SI units (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479735)

The "inch" is a US unit unknown to the rest of the world. We buy our length measurements in SI units (of differing sizes). How big is an inch ?

Re:Non SI units (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479763)

How big is an inch ?

0.1mm for genital measurement, 25.4mm for everything else.

Re:Non SI units (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480327)

the length of your penis

Re:Non SI units (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479577)

How big is a coffee can?

About 1 / 768500 of an Olympic swimming pool for a US coffee can.
Australian coffee cans are measured in weight and is about 1 / 17500 of an African elephant.

Re:Non SI units (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#45479579)

169.56 cubic inches.

Re:Non SI units (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479633)

The "coffee can" is a US unit unknown to the rest of the world. We buy our coffee in packets or jars (of differing sizes). How big is a coffee can?

Like we have a damn clue anymore. Our coffee is now measured in different units. You might hear it referred to as "Venti", per the Starbucks menu.

Re:Non SI units (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45479711)

if my memorey serves right the sizes are large, extra-large and bucket.

but isn't a coffee can something the coffee beans come in? like a can of baked beans?

Re:Non SI units (1)

Provocateur (133110) | about a year ago | (#45480657)

Here in the US some cans have coffee beans that you bring home to grind; the rest are coffee grounds ready for brewing. Refill packs can be bought in order to reuse the cans

Re:Non SI units (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479699)

I just looked this up - to me "coffee can" meant a 180ml can of liquid coffee (around half the size of a can of coke) that's ready to drink, but apparently this isn't popular outside East Asia. According to Wikipedia, a standard coffee can, also known as a #10 can, has a volume of 13 cups and holds 3 lb of coffee. A cup is a US unit, distinct from the imperial unit of the same name, measuring 16 US tablespoons (again different from imperial tablespoons) or around 237 ml. So a coffee can is not quite 3.1 litres - slightly more than Thanshin's reply of 169.56 cubic inches (which is around 2.8 litres) but slightly less than ksemlerK's reply which comes out as 3.45 litres (unless that's the exterior dimensions?). It also seems kind of weird that the can is so big as it's also called a 3 lb coffee can, which is less than 1.5 kg and coffee is denser than water; perhaps when you open the can it's more than half empty?

Re:Non SI units (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45479737)

It's not liquid coffee, it's ground coffee beans. They're about one third of the density of water.

Re:Non SI units (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479925)

I looked this up too, you're right. I already knew that US coffee cans contained coffee powder rather than liquid, but for some reason I thought the coffee powder sunk in water (in my defence, when I make instant coffee I put the powder in first and it dissolves before there's an opportunity to properly observe it).

Re:Non SI units (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45480519)

I suspect the actual grains are more dense than water, but the powder packs inefficiently. (Instant coffee? You're a monster.)

Re:Non SI units (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45480713)

A bean is wood and most wood floats.

Re:Non SI units (2)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year ago | (#45479943)

To my knowledge drinkable coffee is actually forbidden in the united states. Something to do with temperature and the danger of spilling it.

What about milk, eggs, and 'meat'? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479571)

Will they be farming animals and slaughtering them? After all, apparently it's 'natural' for human beings, all 7 billion of us, to be omnivores...
How many similarly sized omnivores and carnivores would there be in nature, if mankind didn't exist? 7 billion? Of course not.

Re:What about milk, eggs, and 'meat'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479895)

If we send cows and beetles to the moon, will cosmic radiation and crossbreeding cause them them to evolve into buggalo?

Re:What about milk, eggs, and 'meat'? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45480719)

Won't work. The cow will jump over the moon.

How much will it cost me? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about a year ago | (#45479605)

How much will it cost me if I want to buy one of those turnip?

Re:How much will it cost me? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45479695)

Not as much as you'd think, but it's collect only.

how to piss off an alien/human hybrid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479621)

The 'beasts' share the same scent - how to piss off an alien/human hybrid

the hybrids carrying filthy spawn (like in the days of Noah) are easy to SNIFF out, literally, they all smell the same when you're in the proper state of mind.

some of them have eyes which appear to be bugging out of their face.

even if you can't detect the scent of the hybrids, or 'beasts', inhale deeply whenever the hybrids are close, don't express any emotion, just keep inhaling deeply and make your facial expression be that of deep contemplation.

when you do this, they know that you know what their true reality is - it's like the movie THEY LIVE where Nada sees the truth through the glasses and confronts them.

don't confront, just inhale deeply. maybe shake your head and laugh, mumble about stupid aliens but nothing deep.

p.s. they're known to court blue women foaming at the mouth
and travel with green space dogs

Re:how to piss off an alien/human hybrid (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45479709)

Please seek psychiatric help. At the very least, read some books on sceptical/scientific/critical thinking and actively debate the idea that you might be experiencing delusions.

Re:how to piss off an alien/human hybrid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479773)

They Live (1988)

See the movie. It's a thrilling satire about consumerism. Everything is trying to sell you something, especially the billboards.

Re:how to piss off an alien/human hybrid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479883)

1) Get two sheets of Polaroid plastic.
2) Place them on each other and rotate the topmost one until the combination becomes as opaque as possible.
3) Use a sharp knife to cut out the word "OBEY" in the sheets.
4) Place the letters from one word in the cutout of another.
5) ???
6) Profit! (Or at least world domination.)

Re:how to piss off an alien/human hybrid (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#45480727)

"Please seek psychiatric help."

Please seek help in spotting cultural references. Get the hell off your computer, and step the fuck outside and pay attention.

unmanned, but let's imply and mislead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479729)

"The first time humans have ever brought life to another planetary body," the author implies, misleading the reader into thinking that humans will be going on a manned mission to the Moon.

"Whoever ends up winning will likely fly with this special payload on board," the author implies, again misleading the reader into thinking that humans will be going on a manned mission to the Moon.

No one is going to the Moon, are they? This is an unmanned robotic mission.

The article is a horribly written fluff piece about democratizingly innvovational crowdysourcing, because accumulating social media followers matters so much more than journalistic integrity.

Re:unmanned, but let's imply and mislead! (2)

gweilo8888 (921799) | about a year ago | (#45479845)

It's also flat-out wrong on the first point. No, it is not the first time humans have ever brought life to another planetary body, even if by life you read an implication that they mean non-human life.

We've brought all manner of microscopic life with us -- much of it inside or on the surface of us -- when we were on the moon previously. Doubtless at least some amount has been sent as microscopic residue even on unmanned missions. OK, the vast majority of the lunar passengers also came back with us, and it's unlikely any of what we've unintentionally brought along has survived, but to say that we've never brought life to another planetary body? Demonstrably not true.

Re:unmanned, but let's imply and mislead! (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#45480003)

Apollo 12 retrieved some equipment, a camera from Surveyor 3, from the moon and they found that some bacterium (streptococcus miti) had apparently survived (according to some liberal definition of "survived", in spore form). Nowadays they have planetary protection officers [wikipedia.org] like Catharine A. Conley to make sure that spacecraft do not contaminate other celestial bodies.

Incidentally, the planetary protection office is also responsible at NASA for the protection of earth against alien invasions, although it is unlikely they would play a major role int he decision process if that occured - for the US, United States Space Command [wikipedia.org] would take over and, in case of a war, be swiftly destroyed by kinetic energy weapons.

Re:unmanned, but let's imply and mislead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480051)

...it's unlikely any of what we've unintentionally brought along has survived...

Also demonstrably not true. Your space education has been sadly neglected. Allow me to bring you up to speed....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/bacteria-survive-nearly-three-years-on-the-moon/9931.html

Re:unmanned, but let's imply and mislead! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45480573)

Intentionality is implied when someone uses the word "brought" without qualification. I really doubt someone would've understood this to mean "when human beings travelled to the moon, they did so in a state of complete sterility".

Purpose? (3, Interesting)

sinktank (871915) | about a year ago | (#45479753)

From TFA:

This experiment will test whether plants can survive radiation, flourish in partial gravity, and thrive in a small, controlled environment.

We can (and have) test all those things here on Earth. IIRC, NASA successfully grew lettuce in zero-g on a shuttle mission.
The moon is a terrible place to grow plants:

- 13-day/night cycle
- 275 Kelvin temperature variation
- 25 rem/yr radiation with no solar flare protection
- no water
- lunar regolith useless as soil

In other words you have to take the whole environment with you. Growing plants on a scale sufficient to be considered food on the moon is a long way off.

It makes for a good kids public outreach program, but let's be realistic: the moon is basically good for 2 things - a huge radio telescope on the far side, and the 1-50 ppb He-3 in the lunar regolith. By the time we're ready to do those things, robots will be good enough to do it all for us.

Re:Purpose? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479911)

I think it could also be good for large optical telescopes not affected by the earth's atmosphere. And for telescopes exploring parts of the spectrum not reaching the earth's surface, where the needed or desired telescope size is too large to put it on a satellite.

Re:Purpose? (1)

AC-x (735297) | about a year ago | (#45480433)

We can (and have) test all those things here on Earth. IIRC, NASA successfully grew lettuce in zero-g on a shuttle mission.
The moon is a terrible place to grow plants:

Exactly; we have done all the tests we can on Earth, and of course nothing beats the real thing for accuracy.

Plus the only place in the solar system that isn't a terrible place to grow plants is Earth, and possibly the upper atmosphere of Venus [wikipedia.org] .

In the Arthur Clarke story... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479759)

...GREEN FINGERS,

A Russian scientist secretly breeds a cactus-type plant to survive on the moon.

He is eventually killed by it - in order for the plant to spread its seeds on a planet with no wind, he had arranged for it to fire the seeds out in the way some plants do on Earth. And. observing one at close quarters, his plexiglass helmet is shattered by one of the tough seed-pods being ejected...

Clarke was a very good visionary engineer. Many of the things he predicted have come to pass. Almost certainly any moon-plant which can survive outside will use a similar seed-spreading mechanism...

Re:In the Arthur Clarke story... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45479807)

No water (a little ice at the poles), ridiculous temperature extremes, terrible soil, no atmosphere... must be quite a plant. That's the type of environment that would make extremophile bacteria want to head home again. The only place plants are growing on the moon is in a controlled environmental container.

Re:In the Arthur Clarke story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480035)

...No water (a little ice at the poles), ridiculous temperature extremes, terrible soil, no atmosphere... must be quite a plant...

Leathery skin, perhaps with silicon layers included for radiation protection, acid-secreting roots to dig into the lunar regolith and extract bound water. No doubt it would have had lots of DNA error correction as well, but given the story was written in 1956, I think we can forgive him leaving that one out.

Tell you what, why don't you read the story?

Re:In the Arthur Clarke story... (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#45480745)

Silicon provides no radiation protection. Why the fuck do you think we have to harden the electronics we send out into space?

Tell you what, why don't you pay attention in school so you can tell what is reality and what is fiction?

Re:In the Arthur Clarke story... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45480591)

Aside from "no atmosphere" you've nicely described the Antarctic deserts. Admittedly that's a big "aside".

Re:In the Arthur Clarke story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479811)

He is eventually killed by it - in order for the plant to spread its seeds on a planet with no wind, he had arranged for it to fire the seeds out in the way some plants do on Earth. And. observing one at close quarters, his plexiglass helmet is shattered by one of the tough seed-pods being ejected...

That is one powerful cumshot!

!FIrst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479871)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reports_of_Streptococcus_mitis_on_the_Moon

Moon Pot (2)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year ago | (#45479985)

Now that pot is becoming legal in the US, maybe the final frontier will be growing pot on the moon.

Think about it. What's needed is a really high (pun intended) profit margin product to drive space exploration. Think how much stoners would pay for pot grown on the moon. Astronomical profit!

Unlike mineral extraction, there is minimal extra-terrestrial processing involved. It's like a sample and return mission, except you don't have to find anything.

Now we can finally fill in item number two:

1) Grow pot on Moon

2) Return it to Earth.

3) Profit!

Re:Moon Pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45480189)

Nooo!

I just agreed with myself to stay off it until retirement. But moon pot - game over. I'd be all over that!!!

Re:Moon Pot (1)

Dthief (1700318) | about a year ago | (#45480349)

....you weigh 1 oz on the moon, and sell it as 1 oz on Earth.......not good business

First life brought to another planetary body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45479989)

They do know humans brought human life to the moon, right?

Cannabis (1)

muttoj (572791) | about a year ago | (#45480059)

Moon grown Cannabis will get you real high I suppose.

Soil (2)

sandertje (1748324) | about a year ago | (#45480077)

This might sound a bit stupid, but in my opinion it is more interesting to see how the soil survives than how the plants do. Most people think soil is dead material, while in fact it is full with activity of bacteria, fungi, insects, earthworms, nematodes and more. Growing anything usefull requires good soil. Once we know how soil biology behaves in Lunar conditions, we might be able to come up with a way to convert Lunar regolith into useable soil.

Weeds first, THEN interesting plants (2)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about a year ago | (#45480219)

You'd think NASA didn't know about taking baby steps, as if they'd gone to the Moon first and decided to work on that boring stable orbit shit later. They should be growing crabgrass, dandelions, and kudzu first. Shit that you have to fight like hell to get to stop growing. Shit that doesn't care how badly you treat it or how poor the conditions are. Bonus: dandelion leaves and kudzu are edible.

While regolith ain't soil, it can be used as a basic substrate [nih.gov] which hearty weeds wouldn't complain about.

WRONG (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#45480305)

ok, coffee can sized aluminum containers? Clearly you've not been reading High Times. Rather than trying to invent new ways to grow plants in confined spaces with limited resources and light, why not ask the people who've been doing it for decades?

A Great Idea, Question Though (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#45480341)

When the phase of the moon is in the dark, what would have to be done?

1st time? Who knows. (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year ago | (#45480451)

If they are successful, it will be the first time humans have ever brought life to another planetary body.

It think that's a very optimistic statement.

Re:1st time? Who knows. (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year ago | (#45480461)

$s/It/I/

Farmer on the moon (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#45480675)

I'm a farmer on the moon
I till with a harpoon
But there ain't water
So I have my daughter
Sing this jaunty tune!

Take it Crushinator!
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