Our team of biology experts are developing solutions that will enable seeds to survive the harsh transit to - and environment on - the Lunar surface. They work with our team of engineers who are designing containers to insulate and protect the precious cargo of live seeds, as well as broadcast images of their growth back to Earth.
We can't go anywhere without people. We plan to engage citizen scientists and school children from around the world to help us develop and test a range of seed species to identify varieties best suited for growth on the Lunar surface. Opening the scientific process to the public will allow us to provide unique educational opportunities, as well as inspire innovation.
In April 2022, we were selected from a number of competitors for a free place on board a commercial Lunar Lander travelling to the Moon’s surface in late 2024.
This mission, which will involve a number of firsts in space travel history, will include a set of seeds and plants carefully selected to withstand the conditions present on the transit to the moon, as well as on the surface. By landing our payload on the Lunar surface, we aim to show growth (germination and/or growth from dormant plant state) within the first 72 hours of landing.
The motivation for such a mission comes from humanity’s passion to explore and see life thrive in barren landscapes. We see the ALEPH-1 payload as the first step towards our eventual goal of providing plants for food, medicine, oxygen production and general wellbeing for future astronauts inhabiting the moon and beyond.
The selection of seeds will be accomplished by a combination of rigorous scientific research and the innovation of the crowd. By engaging the public and school children alongside our panel of biology experts, we can harness the best Earth has to offer.
Whilst on the moon, the cameras and sensors present in the ALEPH-1 container will provide data on plant growth and health that we can compare with our control experiments here on Earth. This data will be made openly available via our website, along with data from participating schools and universities who will contribute to our international bank of control experiments.
By sharing the data and involving students from around the world, we aim to make ALEPH-1 everyone's chance to contribute to the future of space exploration.