This experiment gives us hope that farming in space is possible. Japanese experts have successfully grown vegetables in soil that exactly matches soil samples brought back from the asteroid Ryugu in 2020. This was reported by the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri. Researchers from Japan’s Okayama University have thoroughly analyzed sand and rock samples from the asteroid and found large amounts of organic material and silicon within them. This research identified 23 amino acids that make up proteins.
Based on the data obtained, scientists reconstructed the composition of the asteroid’s soil. The researchers used this replicated soil to conduct plant growth experiments. Buckwheat flowers bloom and lettuce leaves grow to normal size, confirming that the asteroid soil is suitable for agriculture. The team also tried growing grass using about 10 grams of lunar soil brought back during the Apollo mission. The seeds germinated, but after 2-3 weeks they began to dry out, even after fertilizing. Japanese researchers say soil from asteroids that have landed on the moon could be used to build autonomous systems that can grow vegetables directly on the moon’s surface.
Scientists believe this supports the possibility of farming on other celestial bodies. Their experiments could help develop technologies that could pave the way for food self-sufficiency in habitats on other planets. In March 2023, an international team of scientists led by Associate Professor Yasuhiro Ohba of Hokkaido University discovered the presence of uracil, one of the four nitrogenous bases of RNA, and nicotinic acid (niacin) in samples taken from the asteroid Ryugu. announced that. Niacin is a type of vitamin B3 and plays an important role in the origin of life.
The discovery confirms that important building blocks for life could be formed in space and brought to Earth by meteorites, the university said in a statement. The Japanese space probe Hayabusa2, launched in 2014, reached the asteroid Ryugu, 280 million kilometers from Earth, in 2018. He conducted a series of studies in orbit and successfully landed on the surface of an asteroid. There he collected samples and brought them back to Earth in 2020.