The Moon: The Only Place in the Universe Anyone’s Excited About Turnips

Someone at NASA has a real thing for turnips

All turnips, all the time. Courtesy of Flickr user Nicholas Noyes

Back in July, when some U.S. legislators were proposing a plan to turn some bits of the Moon's surface into a national park, we noted that the bill included provisions for providing “visitor services.” But we weren't really sure what that entailed. Now, we're starting to get the sense that it may have meant “The World's Worst Food Court.” Or, er, “The Moon's Best Restaurant.”

NASA is planning to set up experimental gardens on the Moon, to test whether or not plants can germinate and grow in specialized growth chambers, despite all the radiation and low gravity the Moon has to offer. Starting in late 2015 or so, the Moon should have fledgling crops of the flowering plant arabidopsis, basil, and, um, turnips. Any long term mission to the Moon would benefit from a way to grow food on site, and this is the first step towards that dream. But unless you want to eat nothing but turnip gratin (we're still hoping part of the moon is made of cheese, and that it tastes like gruyère), maybe pack a snack bag for your trip to the park.

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