Lunar/MArtian Greenhouse Kit

Lunar/Martian Greenhouse kits

Let's grow some plants like we were on the Moon or Mars

We have yet to get soil samples back from Mars and real lunar soil is very hard to get but we know what it is like from Moon samples  brought back by the Apollo astronauts and the rovers that have explored the surface of Mars. This allows us to make a soil close to real lunar or Mars soil but from rocks we can find on Earth. We are using a simulated lunar soil called Lunar Highland Simulant 1, or LHS1 and a Mars simulated soil called JSC1-Mars. This is what we will grow our plants in.

Your Miniature space greenhouse kit contains a  growing dome, Inside the dome is either the lunar or Mars soil simulant held in place under a foam pad. There are also some radish seeds taped to the silver foil on top of the pad.

Step 1. Open the greenhouse, remove the foil and the foam pad but be careful to leave the space soil in place.

Step 2. Peel off the tape from the foil and remove the seeds.

Step 3. Push the seeds under the surface of the simulant. Now for an experiment. How deep to push the seeds? Too deep and they will never push up though the simulant, too shallow and they will dry out and never grow. We suggest about 1/2 of an inch deep (about 1 cm) but why not try a couple of depths?

Step 4. Add one teaspoon of water (water from a tap is fine).

Step 5. Gently close the lid of the Greenhouse, place it in a sunny window and wait for the seeds to germinate and grow. It should take just a few days.

To share your data with your friends and teachers please answer the questions in this Epicollect5 survey and share a photo of germinating seedling to help us better understand plant response to regolith.

DALLE4 picture designed to inspire the next generation of space farmers.