The Moon Is Getting Plants In Just A Few Years

By Christopher Isaac | Published

Humans first walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. Now, in 2026, NASA is sending a new team out to the moon to attempt something they have not done before: planting moon plants to study how crops are able to fare under the environmental conditions on the moon.

NASA’s LEAF Project

The study of these moon plants is all part of an experiment that NASA has dubbed LEAF (Lunar Effects on Agricultural Flora). This project will actually mark the first time that astronauts will have landed on the moon in over half a century. While there, they will be constructing a mini-greenhouse on the moon’s surface to house the plants and enable NASA to study how well they are able to grow off of the Earth.

Could Develop Vegetation As Food Sources On The Moon

NASA officials described the intentions of the moon plants experiment in an official statement, saying, “LEAF will be the first experiment to observe plant photosynthesis, growth and systemic stress responses in space-radiation and partial gravity.” And if you are wondering if this project aims to one day grow large scale vegetation on the moon, NASA confirms that is a possibility they want to examine.

“Plant growth and development data, along with environmental parameters measured by LEAF, will help scientists understand the use of plants grown on the moon for both human nutrition and life support on the moon and beyond.”

Trees On The Moon Next?

The idea of life support on the moon is especially interesting. Obviously, with no plants currently on the moon, there is no oxygen to breathe in its atmosphere. However, if moon plants are sustainable, that could mean trees might be able to be grown on the moon. That could theoretically mean that with enough plants introduced to the moon’s surface, oxygen could come to exist there. That could mean astronauts might not even need space suits to be able to breathe while on the moon one day.

China Attempted Moon Plants First


If you are wondering if this is the first time moon plants have ever been thought of, China actually claims the history for attempting this first. The Chinese space program first sent cotton plants to the moon back in 2019 via a robot-controlled expedition. However, this is the first time NASA has done its own attempt at sending plant life to the moon.

More History To Be Made

moon lifeforms

To be clear, it is not as if there is no history left to be made for humans on the moon. Beyond this expedition introducing moon plants, it will also be historic for it being the first time that a woman and a person of color have been to the moon. The identities of these individuals are not yet known as the crew has not been announced yet, but it will no doubt be closely followed for the historical significance.

Adding in the LEAF experiment to examine plant life on the moon, as well as this being the first NASA moon landing in more than five decades, will surely be one of the most exciting space expeditions of our lifetime.

This will all be happening aboard the Artemis 3 in 2026. Prior to this expedition to introduce the moon plants experiment, NASA will also be launching the Artemis 2 in late 2025. The Artemis 2 will send four astronauts around the moon and back to the Earth. Meanwhile, the Artemis 1 successfully completed its mission in 2022, sending an unmanned craft into the moon’s orbit and back.

Clearly, NASA is ramping up its plans each year with more ambitious goals to broaden our knowledge of space.

Source: NASA

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