WASHINGTON – NASA and the USDA Forest Service are taking applications from those hopeful to grow their own “Moon Tree,” a seedling that was once as much as 270,000 miles away from Earth while stowed away on the Artemis I moon mission.
Nearly 2,000 of these seeds comprise a new generation of Moon Trees, with the first having visited the moon in 1971 aboard Apollo 14. Those trees were cultivated by the Forest Service and distributed worldwide, in large part for the nation’s bicentennial.
Now, universities, community organizations, schools both formal and informal, science centers, museums and even some facets of the public will get a chance to plant such a tree themselves.
“The seeds that flew on the Artemis mission will soon be Moon Trees standing proudly on campuses and institutions across the country,” Forest Service Chief Randy Moore said in a statement. “These future Moon Trees, like those that came before them, serve as a potent symbol that when we put our mind to a task, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. They will inspire future generations of scientists, whose research underpins all that we do here at the Forest Service.”
Five varieties of seeds were sent to the moon aboard Artemis I: sycamores, sweetgums, Douglas-firs, loblolly pines and giant sequoias. Now germinated and grown into seedlings by the Forest Service, the species will be divvied out based on what’s ideal for the geographic region of each applicant, according to NASA.
Distribution efforts are expected to reach into 2024, though timelines are still in the works.
Apply for your own Artemis Moon Tree by clicking here.
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