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Nasa is to try growing vegetables and herbs on the moon to see if humans could one day live there.

The seeds will be sent to the moon in the Moon Express Lander (illustrated here by computer generation) in 2015
The seeds will be sent to the moon in the Moon Express Lander (illustrated here by computer generation) in 2015
The US space agency plans to send seeds to the moon in 2015 in sealed canisters(容器) containing everything that is needed for the seedlings1 to thrive.
As well as ten seeds each of basil and turnips2(芜菁), there will also be around 100 seeds of Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard.
On landing, a trigger will release a small reservoir of water inside the canister and a team on Earth will monitor how the seeds germinate3(发芽,生长) when exposed to lunar gravity and radiation.
A group of scientists, students and volunteers - known as the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team - are behind the project which will see the seedlings photographed at intervals4 to compare with those planted on earth.
The air in the sealed containers should be adequate for more than 5 days of growth.
A Nasa spokesman said: 'They can test the lunar environment for us, acting5 as a canary in a coal mine.
'If we send plants and they thrive, then humans probably can.'
Thriving plants need the same ingredients for life as humans – food, water and air – and also provide psychological comfort for people, demonstrated by the popular greenhouses in Antarctica and the International Space Station.
Nasa plans on sending the seedlings to the moon by hitching6 a lift on a commercial spacecraft called the Moon Express lander, which is competing to win Google's Lunar X-Prize in 2015.
Scientists are currently constructing a unit to study the germination7 of the plants, which will have a mass of just one kilogram and will be deposited on the moon.
Water will be added to the seeds in the module8 after landing and their growth will be monitored for five to 10 days and compared to Earth-based control seedlings.
Seeds will include Arabidopsis, basil, and turnips and Nasa says the experiment will be the first of its kind on another world and 'an important first step in the utilisation of plants for human life support'.
Follow-up experiments will improve the technology in the growth module and allow for more extensive plant experiments, the organisation9 said.
Survival for 14 days demonstrates plants can sprout10 in the moon's radiation environment but survival to 60 days demonstrates that sexual reproduction (meiosis) can occur in a lunar environment.
Survival to 180 days shows effects of radiation on dominant11 and recessive12 genetic13 traits and afterwards, the experiment may run for months through multiple generations, increasing science return.


1 seedlings b277b580afbd0e829dcc6bdb776b4a06     
n.刚出芽的幼苗( seedling的名词复数 )
  • Ninety-five per cent of the new seedlings have survived. 新栽的树苗95%都已成活。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • In such wet weather we must prevent the seedlings from rotting. 这样的阴雨天要防止烂秧。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
2 turnips 0a5b5892a51b9bd77b247285ad0b3f77     
芜青( turnip的名词复数 ); 芜菁块根; 芜菁甘蓝块根; 怀表
  • Well, I like turnips, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflowers, onions and carrots. 噢,我喜欢大萝卜、西红柿、茄子、菜花、洋葱和胡萝卜。 来自魔法英语-口语突破(高中)
  • This is turnip soup, made from real turnips. 这是大头菜汤,用真正的大头菜做的。
3 germinate hgSx1     
  • Seeds will not germinate without water.没有水,种子是不会发芽的。
  • Can thin and hollow seeds germinate?瘦瘪的种子能够发芽吗?
4 intervals f46c9d8b430e8c86dea610ec56b7cbef     
n.[军事]间隔( interval的名词复数 );间隔时间;[数学]区间;(戏剧、电影或音乐会的)幕间休息
  • The forecast said there would be sunny intervals and showers. 预报间晴,有阵雨。
  • Meetings take place at fortnightly intervals. 每两周开一次会。
5 acting czRzoc     
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
6 hitching 5bc21594d614739d005fcd1af2f9b984     
搭乘; (免费)搭乘他人之车( hitch的现在分词 ); 搭便车; 攀上; 跃上
  • The farmer yoked the oxen before hitching them to the wagon. 农夫在将牛套上大车之前先给它们套上轭。
  • I saw an old man hitching along on his stick. 我看见一位老人拄着手杖蹒跚而行。
7 germination e3b6166de2e0bafce0467a9f740b91e3     
  • At the onset of germination, the hypocotyl elongates rapidly by cell enlargement. 萌发开始时,下胚轴依靠细胞增大而迅速伸长。 来自辞典例句
  • Excessive moisture is unfavourable for soybean germination. 水分过多对于大豆萌发是不利的。 来自辞典例句
8 module iEjxj     
  • The centre module displays traffic guidance information.中央模块显示交通引导信息。
  • Two large tanks in the service module held liquid oxygen.服务舱的两个大气瓶中装有液态氧。
9 organisation organisation     
  • The method of his organisation work is worth commending.他的组织工作的方法值得称道。
  • His application for membership of the organisation was rejected.他想要加入该组织的申请遭到了拒绝。
10 sprout ITizY     
  • When do deer first sprout horns?鹿在多大的时候开始长出角?
  • It takes about a week for the seeds to sprout.这些种子大约要一周后才会发芽。
11 dominant usAxG     
  • The British were formerly dominant in India.英国人从前统治印度。
  • She was a dominant figure in the French film industry.她在法国电影界是个举足轻重的人物。
12 recessive GANzD     
  • Blue eyes are recessive and brown eyes are dominant.蓝眼睛是隐性的;而褐色眼睛是显性的。
  • Sickle-cell anaemia is passed on through a recessive gene.镰状细胞贫血通过隐性基因遗传给后代。
13 genetic PgIxp     
  • It's very difficult to treat genetic diseases.遗传性疾病治疗起来很困难。
  • Each daughter cell can receive a full complement of the genetic information.每个子细胞可以收到遗传信息的一个完全补偿物。
TAG标签: moon Nasa seeds