UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS — Two UI students think they have what it takes to plant a seed on the moon and make it grow. The project was just approved by a company in India.
The next step is heading to outer space. The students are one of six teams which qualified to fly their experiments in a private industry mission to lane a rover on the moon.
Team Indus, out of India , picked the soda-can-sized automated greenhouse. The students decided to grow blue lupine; a type of bean which can take nitrogen from the air.
The students say it’s essential because lunar soil, also known as regolith, does not contain it. They’ve been using crushed volcanic ash. They say the seed grew extremely well and was a good plant for the experiment.
Team Indus will launch a spacecraft in late December to begin a 21-day journey to land on the moon’s northwestern hemisphere.
Alex Darragh, of Bloomington, is a freshman in AG and biological engineering. Matt Steinlauf, of Tokyo, Japan, is also a freshman studying mechanical engineering.