24/7 Space News
SPACE TRAVEL
Farming on the Moon
The left of this artist's impression shows a mechanical sorting area for the regolith, passing through to the central module for more advanced processing, such as chemical leaching. Finally extracted nutrients would be dissolved in water to be pumped to the hydroponic garden, right.
Farming on the Moon
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Feb 23, 2023

Sooner or later, settlers on the Moon will have to become farmers. A new ESA Discovery project led by Norway's Solsys Mining is looking into the treatment of lunar soil to create fertiliser for growing plants.

The good news is that analysis of lunar samples returned to Earth in the past by Moonwalkers and robots shows sufficient essential minerals are available for plant growth, apart from nitrogen compounds. The bad news is that lunar soil (or 'regolith') compacts in the presence of water, creating problems for plant germination and root growth.

Hydroponic farming therefore offers a practical alternative; this type of agriculture involves feeding plant roots directly with nutrient-rich water, without the need for soil. The potential is still there however to put lunar regolith to work, on the basis of 'in-situ resource utilisation' - or living off the land.

The 'Enabling Lunar In-Situ Agriculture by Producing Fertilizer from Beneficiated Regolith' project, led by Solsys Mining with Norway's Geotechnical Institute (NGI) and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space (CIRiS), involves studying a combination of mechanical, chemical and biological processes to extract mineral nutrients from the regolith. Valuable elements might need concentrating before use, while undesirable ones would be removed.

The left of this artist's impression shows a mechanical sorting area for the regolith, passing through to the central module for more advanced processing, such as chemical leaching. Finally extracted nutrients would be dissolved in water to be pumped to the hydroponic garden, right.

"This work is essential for future long-term lunar exploration," comments ESA materials and processes engineer Malgorzata Holynska. "Achieving a sustainable presence on the Moon will involve using local resources and gaining access to nutrients present in lunar regolith with the potential to help cultivate plants. The current study represents a proof of principle using available lunar regolith simulants, opening the way to more detailed research in future."

The Solsys Mining team is optimistic, having already cultivated beans using simulated lunar highland regolith as a nutrient source.

The project came about as an idea submitted through ESA's Open Space Innovation Platform, seeking out promising new ideas for space research. It is now being funded by the Discovery element of ESA's Basic Activities.

Research Report:'Enabling Lunar In-Situ Agriculture by Producing Fertilizer from Beneficiated Regolith'

Related Links
Solsys Mining
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters
Tweet

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
SPACE TRAVEL
UAE 'Sultan of Space' grapples with Ramadan fast on ISS
Dubai (AFP) Feb 2, 2023
The second Emirati to journey into space, martial arts enthusiast Sultan AlNeyadi, weighed up Thursday performing Ramadan in orbit - and promised to pack his jiu-jitsu suit for the ride. AlNeyadi, 41, dubbed the "Sultan of Space" by his alma mater, will blast off on February 26 for the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. During his six months in orbit - a record time for any Arab astronaut - AlNeyadi said he would like to observe the holy month of Ramadan, when ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
SPACE TRAVEL
Global patent filings edge higher in 2022: UN

Tennessee company gets multibillion-dollar NASA contract for Kennedy Space Center operations

Nicola Fox named associate administrator for NASA Science Mission Directorate

Russia's uncrewed Soyuz rescue spacecraft docks with ISS

SPACE TRAVEL
World's first 3D-printed rocket Terran 1 is ready for its maiden flight

Rocket Lab establishes Australian Subsidiary to support rapidly growing Space Sector

Rocket Lab set for dual launch campaigns in Virginia and New Zealand

Successful flight acceptance hot test of CE-20 cryogenic engine

SPACE TRAVEL
Drilling the Marker Band Again: Sols 3750-3751

Got Rock Sample: Sol 3755

Another Busy Day on Mars: Sol 3749

Perseverance from Team Curiosity: Sols 3752-3754

SPACE TRAVEL
China's space station experiments pave way for new space technology

China solicits logos for manned space missions in 2023

Two crews set for Tiangong station in '23

Large number of launches planned

SPACE TRAVEL
AFRL establishes one-stop shop for partnerships

Intelsat completes multi-orbit inflight Wi-Fi tests

Sidus Space to integrate Edge AI for upcoming satellite constellation operations

Kleos Space joins Ursa Space Virtual Constellation

SPACE TRAVEL
BeetleSat deploys satellite expandable antenna in LEO orbit

Mitsubishi Electric and Astroscale to Develop and Produce Satellite Buses

Astroscale Raises U.S. $76 Million, Continuing to Lead the Growing On-Orbit Servicing Sector

Kayhan Space amps up executive team ahead of Advanced Collision Avoidance Suite rollout

SPACE TRAVEL
"Forbidden" planet orbiting small star challenges gas giant formation theories

Removing traces of life in lab helps NASA scientists study its origins

To new worlds with quantitative spectroscopy

Nanosatellite shows the way to RNA medicine of the future

SPACE TRAVEL
Newly discovered form of salty ice could exist on surface of extraterrestrial moons

New aurorae detected on Jupiter's four largest moons

JUICE's final take-off before lift-off

A new ring system discovered in our Solar System

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.