The Plant the Moon Challenge is a global science experiment, learning activity and inspirational project-based-learning challenge to see who can grow the best crops using lunar regolith simulant.
NASA’s Artemis Program is the United States’ new initiative to return to the Moon. Artemis will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. However, returning humans to the Moon is challenging in many ways. One of those challenges is how to feed your crew. Bringing all of the food and water with you that is needed for long-duration human missions becomes a problem, particularly as you increase the length of stay or size of the crew. Using local resources on the Moon could greatly enhance our capabilities to explore our celestial neighbor.
This begs us to ask the question, can you plant the moon? Can you grow crops in lunar regolith (a.k.a. soil to us earth-lubbers)? What nutrients, fertilizers, or other modifications to the regolith are needed to grow nutrient rich, sustainable food sources for future astronauts?
Understanding how we can use lunar soils to grow crops is one of the next great steps in supporting our return to the Moon! Through the Plant the Moon Challenge you can help NASA scientists and the academic community at large learn the best lunar crop conditions by completing your own Plant the Moon Challenge project and sharing your results with the world!