ESA cooperates with Norwegian company Solsys Mining for development method of converting lunar soil into fertilizer for hydroponic crops.
Planting trees on the Moon essential to the ambition to establish a permanent human presence on the celestial surface, but it is extremely difficult work because lunar soil lacks nitrogen compounds that play an important role in plant development.
Simulation of a hydroponic cultivation method on the Moon. (Photo: ESA).
The European Space Agency (ESA) is collaborating with agricultural company Solsys Mining, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and the Center for Interdisciplinary Space Research to research a new approach: hydroponics.
Hydroponics involves growing plants in nutrient-rich water rather than soil. It has been widely used on Earth, particularly in vertical farming installations.
The ESA-led project focuses on finding the optimal method extracts the greatest amount of nutrients from lunar soil as fertilizer for hydroponic plants. The research is expected to last until the end of 2023 with a budget of €100. 000 (approximately 106,000 USD).
Hydroponics on the Moon requires building a processing plant on the surface of the celestial body to extract nutrients from soil and rock before pumping them into greenhouses for hydroponics.
“To establish a lasting presence on the Moon, humans must use available resources and access nutrients found in the celestial body’s topsoil to grow crops,” » underlined Malgorzata Holynska, materials and processes engineer at ESA, on February 22 in a press release. This research will help pave the way for future lunar missions such as NASA’s Artemis program.
Article source: VnExpress
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ESA is collaborating with Norwegian company Solsys Mining to research and develop a method to convert lunar soil into fertilizer for hydroponic crops….