An artist's rendering of a plant on the Moon. Depositphotos.

Lunaria One Start-Up Wants To Grow Plants on The Moon

In just over two years, an Australian start-up called Lunaria One wants to grow plants on the Moon.


In 2025, Australian space start-up Lunaria One hopes to grow plants on the Moon with the help of the Australian National University (ANU).  As part of Limnaria One’s Australian Lunar Experiment Promoting Horticulture (ALEPH), plants will be tested on the lunar surface to determine whether they can tolerate and flourish there. Growing plants on the Moon will be crucial to establishing human life on the Moon, as they will provide food, medicine, and oxygen.

Through this mission, the researchers hope to learn new methods for improving sustainable food production and boosting food security in areas affected by climate change.  As part of the mission, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), RMIT University, Australian National University, and Ben Gurion University in Israel is collaborating with industry partners.  In order to send plants to the Moon, careful consideration will be given to how quickly they germinate and whether they are tolerant to space’s extreme temperature swings.

Scientists from ANU will be able to apply their knowledge of plant germination resilience to determine what plants could survive harsh environments like the Moon through Lunaria One, according to Associate Professor Caitlin Byrt, a science advisor and ARC Future Fellow for Lunaria One. ANU Research School of Biology and ANU Institute for Space (InSpace) Associate Professor Byrt said space provides a unique opportunity to study how to propagate plants in extreme environments. “The extreme conditions that Earth is facing due to climate change present challenges for how we manage food security in the future.


Having controlled environments creates the ability to rapidly propagate plants after a natural disaster or climate change-related event. This project is crucial for developing propagation systems relevant to challenges here on Earth, the scientists explained. “If you can create a system for growing plants on the moon, then you can create a system for growing food in some of the most challenging environments on Earth.”  The Australian native resurrection grass Tripogon loliiformis is an ideal candidate for the mission due to its ability to endure harsh conditions and survive in a dormant state for months without water.

According to Dr. Brett Williams, a plant biologist from QUT, after losing 95 percent of its relative water, the dead-looking grass remains alive and flourishes with water.  On SpaceIL’s Beresheet 2 spacecraft, a specially designed chamber will transport the seeds and resurrection plants to the lunar surface. In order to monitor the progress and record the process, the chamber will contain sensors, as well as a camera and water. The plan is that with a hermetically sealed chamber on the lunar lander, the seeds and resurrection plants will survive in a dehydrated state and, with water, germinate and reactivate.

Data and images will be transmitted back to Earth after 72 hours are spent monitoring the plant’s growth and health on the lunar surface. Data collected from the experiment will be used to identify which plant varieties will survive on the Moon by citizen scientists and school children around the globe. The ALEPH project aims to make science and engineering behind growing life on the Moon open to everyone, according to Lunaria One Director Lauren Fell of QUT: “The key to this mission is to get humans involved.  Australians, Israelis, South Africans, and Americans are among the scientists on the Lunaria One team. If you are interested in finding out more about the ALEPH project, you can check out the Lunaria One website, where all necessary information about the mission, progress, and expectations are available.


It is noteworthy to mention that a Chinese Mission that landed on the lunar surface already transported seeds and plants to the Moon, some of which successfully sprouted and survived a short period of time.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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