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Innoplant is participating in the Green Moon project to grow vegetables on the Moon

From Granada to the Moon

The seeds that will sprout the first extra-terrestrial orchard on the Moon are being studied in Granada. Innoplant, a firm specializing in the search for scientific and technological solutions to the problems faced by the agri-food sector and its auxiliary industry, has joined the project to prepare seeds capable of germinating outside the planet within the framework of the European Green Moon Project.

"The project began five years ago with a team of engineers, and we offered to lead the biology part of the project to obtain seeds that can germinate in the Moon," Sanchez told EFE.

Innoplant's team is coordinating the biological aspect of the project from their laboratories in Alfacar and is studying the reaction of plants to the lunar context and how to help them adapt to a new world. The first steps have been carried out using a lunar regolith coming from Lanzarote, a substrate similar to the Moon's soil that has allowed the team to verify which seeds would grow in the satellite.

So far, Innoplant has tried to plant lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, as well as some wheat and corn, but it is now time to modify those seeds so that they survive a nutrient-free terrain. "It is time to leave our laboratory to do simulations with microgravity and thus get more information," said a biologist already prepared for an eventual real mission that could take place in 2024.

This project team is collaborating with a Chinese university responsible for planting its seeds on the Moon, has also applied to NASA and ESA projects, and has opened an investment round to look for companies that want to invest money in the current talent.

According to Sanchez, this mission could reap its fruits within fifteen years, the time that NASA estimates it will take to plant an orchard and harvest a crop from the Moon.



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