Nasa is to try growing vegetables and herbs on the moon to see if humans could one day live there.
The seeds will be sent to the moon in the Moon Express Lander (illustrated here by netputer generation) in 2015
The US space agency plans to send seeds to the moon in 2015 in sealed canisters(容器) containing everything that is needed for the seedlings1 to thrive. As well as ten seeds each of basil and turnips2(芜菁), there will also be around 100 seeds of Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard. On landing, a trigger will release a small reservoir of water inside the canister and a team on Earth will monitor how the seeds germinate3(发芽,生长) when exposed to lunar gravity and radiation. A group of scientists, students and volunteers - known as the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team - are behind the project which will see the seedlings photographed at intervals4 to netpare with those planted on earth. The air in the sealed containers should be adequate for more than 5 days of growth. A Nasa spokesman said: 'They can test the lunar environment for us, acting5 as a canary in a coal mine. 'If we send plants and they thrive, then humans probably can.' Thriving plants need the same ingredients for life as humans – food, water and air – and also provide psychological netfort for people, demonstrated by the popular greenhouses in Antarctica and the International Space Station. Nasa plans on sending the seedlings to the moon by hitching6 a lift on a netmercial spacecraft called the Moon Express lander, which is netpeting to win Google's Lunar X-Prize in 2015. Scientists are currently constructing a unit to study the germination7 of the plants, which will have a mass of just one kilogram and will be deposited on the moon. Water will be added to the seeds in the module8 after landing and their growth will be monitored for five to 10 days and netpared to Earth-based control seedlings. Seeds will include Arabidopsis, basil, and turnips and Nasa says the experiment will be the first of its kind on another world and 'an important first step in the utilisation of plants for human life support'. Follow-up experiments will improve the technology in the growth module and allow for more extensive plant experiments, the organisation9 said. Survival for 14 days demonstrates plants can sprout10 in the moon's radiation environment but survival to 60 days demonstrates that sexual reproduction (meiosis) can occur in a lunar environment. Survival to 180 days shows effects of radiation on dominant11 and recessive12 genetic13 traits and afterwards, the experiment may run for months through multiple generations, increasing science return.
1 seedlings n.刚出芽的幼苗( seedling的名词复数 ) 参考例句:
Ninety-five per cent of the new seedlings have survived. 新栽的树苗95%都已成活。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
In such wet weather we must prevent the seedlings from rotting. 这样的阴雨天要防止烂秧。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
2 turnips 芜青( turnip的名词复数 ); 芜菁块根; 芜菁甘蓝块根; 怀表 参考例句:
Well, I like turnips, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflowers, onions and carrots. 噢,我喜欢大萝卜、西红柿、茄子、菜花、洋葱和胡萝卜。 来自魔法英语-口语突破(高中)
This is turnip soup, made from real turnips. 这是大头菜汤,用真正的大头菜做的。
3 germinate v.发芽;发生;发展 参考例句:
Seeds will not germinate without water.没有水,种子是不会发芽的。
Can thin and hollow seeds germinate?瘦瘪的种子能够发芽吗?
4 intervals n.[军事]间隔( interval的名词复数 );间隔时间;[数学]区间;(戏剧、电影或音乐会的)幕间休息 参考例句:
The forecast said there would be sunny intervals and showers. 预报间晴,有阵雨。
Meetings take place at fortnightly intervals. 每两周开一次会。
5 acting n.演戏,行为,假装;adj.代理的,临时的,演出用的 参考例句:
Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
6 hitching 搭乘; (免费)搭乘他人之车( hitch的现在分词 ); 搭便车; 攀上; 跃上 参考例句:
The farmer yoked the oxen before hitching them to the wagon. 农夫在将牛套上大车之前先给它们套上轭。
I saw an old man hitching along on his stick. 我看见一位老人拄着手杖蹒跚而行。
7 germination n.萌芽,发生;萌发;生芽;催芽 参考例句:
At the onset of germination, the hypocotyl elongates rapidly by cell enlargement. 萌发开始时,下胚轴依靠细胞增大而迅速伸长。 来自辞典例句