The Plant the Moon Challenge is for anyone daring enough to explore and stretch the limits of human possibility. We’re piggybacking off of NASA’s new lunar exploration program, Artemis, and giving YOU the chance to help get astronauts back to the moon.
NASA’s Artemis Program is the United States’ new initiative to return to the Moon. And future missions to the Moon will prepare astronauts for manned exploration of Mars! Artemis will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. However, returning humans to the Moon and planning to go to Mars is challenging in many ways. One of those challenges is how to feed your crew. Using local resources on the Moon could greatly enhance our capabilities to explore our celestial neighborhood.
This begs us to ask the question, can you plant the Moon? Can we plant Mars? Can you grow crops in lunar regolith, a fine grained dusty covering of rocks and minerals spread across the surface of the moon? Can we grow food sustainably on the surface of Mars? 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 soil to grow crops is one of the next great steps in supporting our return to the Moon! Through the Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge, you can help NASA scientists and the academic community at large learn the best crop conditions to make this happen. Register today to get started!
ICS makes learning an exciting challenge for students of all ages. For ICS, it’s not only about creating a tool for students, educators and innovators. It’s about creating academic heroes, and building the structures and systems upon which they can be recognized and rewarded. We aim to do for educational competitions what ESPN has done for professional sports, and much more. The Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenges are new signature competitions from ICS to help engage, inspire, and motivate students to learn through real-world challenge-based programming.
Recognizing that science and human exploration are mutually enabling, NASA created the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) to address basic and applied scientific questions fundamental to understanding the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos, and the near space environments of these target bodies. As a virtual institute, SSERVI funds investigators at a broad range of domestic institutions, bringing them together along with international partners via virtual technology to enable new scientific efforts.
The Plant the Moon Challenge is partnering with six Space Grant Consortiums on a special NASA-funded regional project to expand the reach of the PTMC to underserved and underrepresented STEM students in the six partnering states: Virginia (lead), North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
The NASA Space Grant Regional Expansion Project builds on the Plant the Moon Challenge by providing additional state/jurisdiction-based support to educators, free lunar regolith simulant kits, teacher stipends, enhancement activities, special experiential state/regional awards, and expanded educator professional development. The project is expected to engage more than 13,000 students in PTMC over the next three years. Informal and formal educators in the project region can learn more here.
The Space Grant Consortium are educational institutions in the United States that comprise a network of fifty-two consortia formed for the purpose of outer space-related research. Each consortium is based in one of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico, and each consists of multiple independent space-grant institutions, with one of the institutions acting as lead.
The Plant the Moon Challenge is currently supported by the Space Grant Consortiums of California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, & West Virginia.
If you do not see your state's Space Grant Consortium listed here, we encourage you to reach out to them expressing your interest in participating in the Plant the Moon Challenge.
Mosser Lee Company has been producing consumer products since 1932. Through its operating divisions, it provides high quality lawn and garden products under the Mosser Lee, Soil Master and LabTech brands through most of the garden centers and mass merchants in the United States and Canada.
Soil Master provides the pH meters for our teams to use in their experiments.
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
NC State University
Associate Professor of Crop Science
Dean of School of Science
Aerospace Architectural Engineer
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Space Crop Production Manager
NASA Kennedy Space Center
Associate Professor of Soil
University of Idaho
Chief Scientist, CLASS Exolith Lab
University of Central Florida
Chief Innovation Officer
Chief Geomechanics Specialist
University of Central Florida
Assistant Professor of Botany
Winston-Salem State University
Lunar and Planetary Institute
NASA Ames Research Center
Professor of Horticulture
University of Delaware
Lead for Innovation & Technical Partnerships
Associate Dean of Research
MO University of Science & Technology
Florida Institute of Technology
Assistant Professor of Engineering
University of Texas Tyler