Your mission is about to begin. Whether you’re a pilot navigating food innovations on your own or a crew of seasoned zany space botanists, there’s a path for you to take to grow plants on the Moon – and now Mars, too!
The Plant the Moon Challenge is for anyone daring enough to explore and stretch the limits of human possibility & to be a part of the next frontier – the habitation of the Moon and Mars. Young or old, K-12 or university student, garden or space hobbyist, scientist or Star Wars fanatic – humanity’s future is in your hands. Earth’s space programs count on YOU to set up the human race and our astronauts with food security in space for exploration and habitation.
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.