The world’s first flower grown on the moon may soon become a reality when US-based Odyssey Moon and engineering firm Paragon Space Development Corporation deliver the first biological greenhouse to the lunar surface. Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon and Paragon have teamed up for the project Lunar Oasis that will attempt to deliver a sealed bell jar greenhouse, encased in a 1.5-foot tall triangular aluminium frame, to the moon.

The greenhouse is designed to protect and nurture a laboratory plant while it grows from seed to flower. The greenhouse is expected to contain fast-growing mustard seeds that will flower in two Earth weeks.

The successful creation of a lunar plant will be another space first for Paragon. The company is known for their animal experiments in space and subsequently the company bred the first animals through complete life cycles on the Mir Space Station, and has also grown the first aquatic plant in space.

“Plants have been grown in essentially zero gravity and of course in Earth gravity, but never in fractions of gravity,” said Dr. Volker Kern, Director of NASA Human Spaceflight Programs who conducted plant growth experiments in space on the US Space Shuttle.

“People of all ages will get excited about the idea of growing a plant on the Moon,” said Jane Poynter, Paragon founder. Jane Poynter and husband Taber MacCallum, Paragon CEO, are well known experts in the closed biological systems' communities, and were themselves experimental subjects within a sealed ecosystem as resident scientists in the famous Biosphere 2 Project in the early 90s. The couple spent two years living with six others in a 3.2 acre greenhouse type structure in Oracle, Arizona, in the largest closed system ever built.

“The first plant to grow from seed and complete its life cycle on another world will be a significant step in the expansion of life beyond the Earth. The sooner we do it the better,” explained NASA Ames planetary scientist Dr. Chris McKay.

The launch date for the Lunar Greenhouse has not been set.

Visit: http://www. paragonsdc. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. соm

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