In two years NASA hopes to be growing plants on the moon in an experiment designed to shed light on how life can be sustained in extreme conditions.
Small containers will contain plant life habitats, along with censors and cameras. The habitats will regulate water consumption, temperature and power supply:
Upon landing on the moon a trigger would release a small reservoir of water wetting the filter paper and initiating germination of the seeds. The air in the sealed container would be adequate for more than five days of growth. No additional air supply or air processing would be necessary. The seedlings would be photographed at intervals with sufficient resolution to compare with growth in Earth controls. We would use the natural sunlight on the moon as the source of illumination for plant germination as a first ISRU (in situ resource utilization) demonstration.
Image courtesy of NASA