Scientists say seeds would be carried by Beresheet 2 spacecraft — a private Israeli Moon mission.

Plant species Arabidopsis thaliana is seen sprouting at University of Florida laboratory in a small amount of regolith soil from the Moon, on May 5, 2021.
Plant species Arabidopsis thaliana is seen sprouting at University of Florida laboratory in a small amount of regolith soil from the Moon, on May 5, 2021. (Reuters Archive)

Australian scientists are trying to grow plants on the Moon by 2025 in a new mission that they said could help pave the way for a future colony.

Plant biologist Brett Williams, from the Queensland University of Technology, said on Friday seeds would be carried by the Beresheet 2 spacecraft — a private Israeli Moon mission.

They would be watered inside the sealed chamber after landing and monitored for signs of germination and growth.

Plants will be chosen based on how well they cope in extreme conditions, and how quickly they germinate, he said.

One likely choice is an Australian "resurrection grass" that can survive without water in a dormant state.

"The project is an early step towards growing plants for food, medicine and oxygen production, which are all crucial to establishing human life on the moon," the researchers said in a statement.

READ MORE: Scientists for first time grow plants in soil from the Moon

Scientists from Israel part of mission

Caitlin Byrt, an associate professor from the Australian National University in Canberra, said the research was also relevant to food security fears driven by the climate crisis.

"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," Byrt said in a statement.

The Lunaria One organisation is running the project, which involves scientists from Australia and Israel.

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Source: AFP