Researchers said that they treated moon-like soil with bacteria to make it more fertile. They said the result means crops could be grown on the moon, saving money and materials.
In recent years, scientists have been taking steps toward making moon agriculture possible. Researchers in China said this month that they have found a way to turn soil, that is similar to lunar soil, fertile. They used volcanic soil from the Changbai Mountains in Jilin province that is similar to moon soil, which scientists call lunar regolith. The researchers found that the plants raised in the bacteria-treated soil grew better than plants that grew in moon-like soil without the bacteria. Each container had a gram of moon soil collected during the NASA missions to the moon more than 50 years ago. In the earlier study, Arabidopsis did grow, but not as well in soil from the moon as it did in volcanic ash from Earth, which the researchers used for comparative purposes. Their study suggests that soil from the moon could become more fertile with improvements.