"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Monday, June 27, 2005
[Media Source*] (Cross Posted on Blogger News)
Bernard Foing, Project Scientist for the lunar satellite SMART-1, discusses the steps we need to take to develop bases on the Moon. Growing flowers is one step towards making the lunar desert an oasis for human life...
In this essay, Bernard Foing ponders what steps will need to be taken to establish future human bases on the Moon. The Moon has one-sixth of Earth's gravity and no atmosphere, but the difficulties of living there could be eased by something as beautiful and delicate as a flower.
Although the moon is definitely too hostile for terra forming it's surface (not to mention the fact that it lacks an atmosphere) the soil seems to be rich in minerals, with about 45% of the lunar "dirt" containing oxygen (perhaps the reason why NASA is offering money for this idea).
Foing is currently working on finding not simply flowers that look pretty, but flowers that are very resistant towards their environment as well as ones that can survive the trip towards space. Tulips are a great example of this, as one can freeze the bulbs and sterilize them, later on "bring them back to life" upon the lunar surface.
Although there are challenges as far as cultivating these plants on the Moons surface (as a flower would need a host of other organisms in order to survive) Foing believes that by the time man revisits the moon (around 2015) they will not only be growing flowers but food as well. In it's initial phases this may range from simple algae to "lunar salad," but for now growing a flower on the lunar surface would symbolize the beginnings of an oasis on a world that has only known the harsh realities of the sun's rays.
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