Michigan State University’s outer space seeds show promising initial results

Research attempting to eventually colonize the moon
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 5:47 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University is part of a NASA space project to one day colonize the moon. Spartan researchers recently sent seeds into space, and now they’re back on campus. The seeds were onboard the Artemis 1 mission.

Background: Michigan State University to send seeds around the moon

Outer space farming may sound like science fiction, but for Michigan State Researchers, it’s almost reality.

“Contributing to make something feasible like growing plants on the moon, it continues really to, to drive me to work,” said Federica Brandizzi, MSU Plant Biology Foundation Professor.

Their tiny seeds blasted off in November on a 1.4 million-mile voyage and returned to campus about a month ago. These seeds have gone where no seeds have gone before, making their research the first of its kind.

“I think any response that we are going to get, positive or negative, is going to be informative,” said Brandizzi

“So they’re in good enough quality for me to be able to work with them, that’s really exciting,” said Joanne Thomson, Graduate Research Assistant.

In order to get accurate results, there are many tests that still need to be done. However, some of the space seeds are already growing strong.

“We have found that the quality is really good,” said Thomson.

“Yes, pretty good. So, you know, touch wood, everything is fine,” said Brandizzi

“I just think it’s really cool science,” Thomson said. “It’s going to be really helpful in the future, for future missions to the lunar surface, but also to Mars and beyond.”

After going to the moon and back, the space seeds being capable of any growth is a really good sign. Creating sustainable plant growth on the moon is a big undertaking, with many labs and institutions involved.

“You know it’s going to be like a drop in a big ocean because we need a lot of science and a lot of research to colonize the moon,” said Brandizzi

With promising results so far, the Brandizzi lab researchers are continuing to reach for the stars. They expect to release the final results by the end of this year.

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