This past week, Google Lunar X PRIZE team Odyssey Moon announced a partnership with Paragon Space Development Corporation to send along with their craft a tiny greenhouse in which they will carry out the first experiments growing plants on the Moon. Paragon is well-known for its work on the Constellation program, including the astronaut suits and the Orion crew module.
“People of all ages will get excited about the idea of growing a plant on the Moon,” said Jane Poynter, President and founder of Paragon and an expert on environmental sustainability. “Imagine a bright flower on a plant in a crystal clear growth chamber on the surface of the Moon, with the full Earth rising above the Moonscape behind it; these are the ideas that got me interested in space.”
The greenhouse will contain seeds of mustard from the Brassica genus, a fast-growing species. These plants are often used as experimental subjects due to their rapid growth and genetic traits.
"We're sending the mustard first and hot dogs need to follow," jokes Odyssey Moon founder Bob Richards. "Hopefully these will be the precursors to the greenhouses you would need to live on the moon."
Congratulations to both Odyssey Moon and Paragon for this incredible announcement. Best of luck to you both!