British space agency hunts “moon trees” from seeds returned by mission 50 years ago, Science News

When NASA completed its third manned mission to the moon 50 years ago, the spacecraft brought some unusual things as it landed in the Pacific Ocean on February 9, 1971.

There were 500 seeds, including a maple, a sweet gum, a red tree that traveled from the moon.

Stuart Roosa, one of three astronauts from the mission, packed this seed for the mission in the experiment to see how they react to the space environment.

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But since Roosa never landed on the lunar surface, this seed could not be planted on the moon.

As the seeds return to Earth, they were germinated by the Forest Service, CNN reports.

Named as “Moon Trees,” they are planted across the U.S. and the world, according to NASA.

NASA has since tracked 60 of these trees, mostly in the U.S., but some have also been planted in Brazil, Switzerland and Japan.

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In a recent BBC Radio 4 program, it was claimed that almost 15 of these trees were planted in Britain.

However, there is no data to support how this seed may have arrived in the UK and is nowhere to be found.

Now the British Space Agency has started hunting to find this seed or trees that could have grown from that seed.

“I will be interested to find out if any of the Moon’s seeds came to the UK and what happened to them,” said space exploration expert Libby Jackson of the UK space agency, Science Alert reported.