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Israeli scientists will test how to grow crops on the moon and see if the crop is enough to support a future habitable lunar colony. This was reported by the press service of the Israeli Foreign Ministry with reference to the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. It is specified that the Aleph experiment, proposed by the Lunaria One consortium, was chosen by the Israeli space project SpaceIL as one of the payloads on board the Bereshit-2 descent vehicle. The Bereshit 2 mission, scheduled to launch in mid-2025, will consist of two landers landing on each side of the Moon and an orbiter that will remain in Earth satellite orbit for up to 5 years. Aleph consists of a tray with seeds and dehydrated plants, a device for their rehydration and watering, heaters and surveillance cameras. Scientists for growing plants on the Moon have to overcome a number of problems, such as sudden temperature changes on the way to the satellite, providing plants with water and the right temperature environment. Plant types should be those that can germinate and grow to observable sizes within 72 hours of being deployed to the Moon. The scientists hope that the plants they choose will be relevant for vertical farming and resource-limited areas on Earth. The consortium includes Queensland University of Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the Australian National University in Australia, as well as the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
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