The moon is a nice place to visit, but you'd never want to live there. Because of the lack of breathable air? Nah. There are no flowers. But now, scientists have successfully grown marigolds in crushed anorthosite, a rocky Earth-based soil that is quite similar to the stuff we see on the moon.
While growing plants in what is essentially rock do not make for optimal green-nurturing conditions, scientists realized that by adding various bacteria to the anorthosite, the plants were able to draw essential nutrients they needed from the rock. Better still, these bacteria are a tough breed of microbe, ready for the tough conditions of the moon.
Obviously the plants still need atmospheric enclosure, planned to include algae.
And though scientists are confident that they can grow a variety of other plants on the moon (like cabbage), they may or may not get to participate in moon visits scheduled for 2015 and after. [telegraph via digg]