Michigan State University to send seeds around the moon

“This will eventually allow us to colonize space.”
Michigan State University to send seeds around the moon
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University has partnered with NASA to complete research that is - literally, out of this world.

MSU Foundation Professor Federica Brandizzi is leading the research team to send the seeds out on the unmanned spacecraft, Artemis 1.

Artemis 1 is NASA’s first trip of many, working to establish a long-term human presence on the moon. The craft will take off on Aug 29, and will contain various research projects alongside MSU’s seeds.

“We (are) hoping to learn a lot about how seeds perform while they are in space, and how much space flight influences the strength of these seeds,” said Brandizzi.

While the seeds will not be leaving the spacecraft on the journey, the implications are to infinity and beyond.

“The findings that we (are) going to identify will be translatable to crops,” Brandizzi said. “And so this eventually will allow us to colonize space.”

The seeds being sent are called Arabidopsis Thaliana, which is a small flowering plant native to Eurasia and Africa. While it’s not commonly found in the United States, it’s very common in the research world.

The plant’s proteins are thought to do well in space, while most plants struggle to produce them outside of Earth.

“I think in general, I feel so blessed about working with NASA on this project.” Brandizzi said, “It’s not a standard project, right? There is so much involved. There is so much passion, so much research.”

The project is nearly three years in the making.

Artemis 1 and the seeds are scheduled to return home on Oct. 10.

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