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Take your own giant leap into space exploration!

Participants in the Plant the Moon Challenge will join a global science experiment and research challenge to examine how vegetable crops can grow in lunar or Martian soil. Each team will receive real soil simulant from the University of Central Florida’s CLASS Exolith Lab! You will design and conduct a set of experiments using this simulant to grow crops for a future long-duration mission.

Teams will use the Project Guide to help define their own experimental parameters, such as the structure of the plant growth setup, amount of water used, and nutrients or fertilizer added to the simulant to support plant growth. After a 10-week growing period, you will submit final project reports and join the global network of researchers helping to expand our space exploration capabilities!

Your team will submit a report detailing your experiment setup, parameters, and results to help NASA scientists understand how to use lunar soil to provide nutritious crops for future missions to the Moon or Mars!

All participants with completed projects will be invited to showcase their work at a virtual symposium with NASA scientists, program executives, and other dignitaries, where Best-in-Show awards will be presented to teams with the best experiments in a variety of categories.

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Project Timeline

What will the Plant the Moon Challenge process look like?

  • August 19, 2021

    Registration Opens

  • September 17, 2021

    Registration Closes

  • September 22, 2021

    Opening Symposium

  • Week 1

    Grow Period Begins

  • Week 3

    Team Video Update

  • Week 4

    Question Submission: Science Advisory Board

  • Week 5

    Midpoint Webinar

  • Week 6

    Optional Office Hours & Check-in

  • Week 8

    Team Video Update

  • Week 10

    Grow Period Ends

  • December 13, 2021

    Team Reports Due

  • January 11, 2022

    Fall Season Summit & Awards

Choose Your Mission

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Launch Pad Complex: Successful Rocket Launching with Crew on a Space Exploration Mission. Flying Spaceship Blasts Flames and Smoke on a Take-Off. Humanity in Space, Conquering Universe
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Help NASA and Humanity

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Help NASA and Humanity

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Note on International Shipping

The Institute of Competition Sciences and our partners at the CLASS Exolith Lab are excited to offer the Plant the Moon Challenge as a truly international scientific and competitive experience. We will attempt to ship simulants to you around the world, wherever you are. As the competitor and purchaser, you are responsible for any VAT, tariff, duty, taxes, handling fees, customs clearance charges, etc. required by your country for importing goods.

It is our suggestion that you do research beforehand regarding any additional charges and order simulant well in advance (3-4 weeks) of all deadlines to ensure that you can engage in the planned benchmarks of the Plant the Moon Challenge. Thank you for your engagement and understanding.