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We all know the moon isn't really made of cheese but it could soon be sprouting basil and turnips. That's if NASA moves forward with its plan to grow food on the moon beginning in 2015.
Through the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat project the space agency hopes to see if vegetation - and ultimately human life - can thrive on the moon, Grub Street reports. Aside from basil and turnips, scientists will also grow flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard.
For the experiment, scientists will send seeds in a 'self-contained habitat' to the moon via the Moon Express lander, a commercial spacecraft enrolled in the Google Lunar X Prize. Once there, water will be added to the seeds and their growth will be monitored for 5-10 days and compared to Earth based controls, according to a press release.
"The difficulty for the scientists will be encouraging plant growth in the harsh environment of the moon. Partial gravity and lunar radiation will need to be accounted for, although the plants will travel with their own water reservoir and enough air for five days of growth. Cameras and sensors will monitor the plants and send data back to Earth," explains the Independent.
NASA previously announced plans to equip space shuttles with hydroponics so astronauts could cook in space but this new project could pave the way for human colonization in other celestial bodies - or at least some lunar pesto.