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A firm that has designed habitats for plants and animals living in microgravity now hopes to grow the first flowers on the moon, the company's founders announced on Friday.
Engineering firm Paragon Space Development plans to build a greenhouse to fly to the moon. It is set to travel on a lunar lander designed by Odyssey Moon, a competitor for the Google Lunar X Prize, a $30 million contest to send an unmanned lunar rover to the moon.
The greenhouse will be used to incubate fast-growing mustard seeds on the lunar surface, in the hopes of producing flowering plants and an iconic image that could be as thrilling as the Apollo images of Earth-rise over the lunar surface.
"We want there to be a great inspirational picture," says Paragon CEO Taber MacCallum, who was one of the inhabitants of Biosphere 2, a greenhouse-like enclosure that housed eight inhabitants for two years in the early 1990s.