Living on the Moon
Living on the Moon
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  • 승인 2022.06.19 23:41
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▲Seeds sprouting in moon soil / BBC News
▲Seeds sprouting in moon soil / BBC News


The moon has been a source of curiosity for everyone living on Earth. From goddess worship to folklores about the moon, no one quite knew anything specific about the moon until fairly recently. However, it seems that another large step is being taken towards the future of humanity, because scientists have succeeded in growing plants in lunar soil for the first time. The moon soil used was a sample collected from the Apollo missions during 1969-1972, and to all the researchers’ astonishment, cress seeds planted in the soil sprouted after just two days. 
The next question that researchers harbored after this discovery was the possibility of living on the moon. People have thought about living on the moon for a long time, but this is the first time it has actually been thought to be possible. Would it be possible to prolong peoples’ stay on the moon or even create a new settlement on the moon? The answer is yet to be defined, but there are both pros and cons when regarding NASA’s long-term goal of living and settling on the moon. 
First, there is a fundamental problem of growth speed. As moon soil does not harbor as many nutrients as Earth’s soil, the growth of the plants in moon soil was significantly slower than on Earth. Living on the moon requires people to grow and produce their own food, but the fact that the agricultural products are limited creates a huge limitation. 
In addition, it is harder to plan further experiments about growing plants in moon soil, as there is not enough lunar soil to experiment with. During the Apollo missions, NASA astronauts brought back 382 kg of lunar soil, but research teams have only been given 1g of soil per plant to experiment with. This is one of the limits of utilizing lunar soil for plant growth—the amount soil is restricted.
However, if this project ends successfully, growing plants on the moon may solve the problem of food-scarce areas on Earth. When agricultural innovations are successfully introduced, agriculture on the moon may help people suffering from famine on Earth. In addition, if growing plants on moon soil becomes possible, space projects can be prolonged, as astronauts exploring Mars and the moon can stay longer during one trip. 
Considering all this, it is still a point of debate on whether it will be possible to grow food and live on the moon someday. Although this seems impossible right now, the fact that plants can be grown in moon soil is an interesting beginning to what could be a revolutionary development in the space project. Though difficult to imagine, scientific developments, along with further research on moon soil, may just pave the way to a second Earth or an outer space farm on the moon.