NASA Will Grow Basil and Turnips on the Moon

In space, no one can hear vegetarians.
In space, no one can hear vegetarians. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev (NASA/AFP/Getty Images; Shutterstock)

Good news for all you food people who are whatever the word is for the exact opposite of locavores: NASA’s going to grow turnips and basil on the moon starting in 2015, meaning that you can expect to see moon pesto at your local artisanal flea market within a few years! Just kidding about that bit, probably-maybe, but scientists say they will monitor the growth of turnips, basil, and some cabbage-y kinds of things in a sealed growth chamber to gauge just how well life responds to the inhospitable environment.

The “portable habitat” will hitch a ride on the Moon Express lander, a commercial carrier competing for the Google Lunar XPrize, and meanwhile, NASA’s plans are bigger than just spearheading the trend away from hyperlocal and toward lunar food: “If we send plants and they thrive, then we probably can,” suggests the press release, in which NASA also refers to humans as “colonists.” This is happening, people.

LPX First flight of Lunar plant growth experiment
[NASA via Independent]