Brown says he envisions growth chambers for cyanobacteria being set up on the Moon, as part of a multi-step process for making use of the resources bound in the lunar soil. The chambers would be supplied with water, sunlight and lunar soil to allow the cyanobacteria to grow.
Cyanobacteria harvested from the chambers could then be further processed to make use of the elements they extract from the lunar soil. For example, they could be broken down by other bacteria, resulting in a nutrient-rich soup that could be used as fertiliser for food plants grown in hydroponic greenhouses. Methane given off by the breakdown of the cyanobacteria could be used as rocket fuel.
The tough cyanobacteria used in the experiment was taken from hot springs at Yellowstone National Park. Link -via Digg
(image credit: NSF)