December 8, 2013 - Neil Armstrong may have made a giant leap forward for mankind when he landed on the moon more than 40 years ago, but scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in California are looking out for plantkind. The Lunar Plant Growth Habitat project is hoping to put some basil, flowers and turnips on the moon in late 2015.
"We are constructing a small technology demonstration unit to study germination of plants in lunar gravity and radiation on the moon," said NASA in a statement on the project's website. "This will be the first life-sciences experiment on another world."
NASA is planning to hitch a ride to the moon with one of the private spacecraft companies currently competing for Google's Lunar X Prize. The competition is awarding more than $40 million in prize money to any company that can successfully land on the moon.
NASA originally said that it was looking to partner with Moon Express, one of the companies competing for the Lunar X Prize.