Potatoes can be grown on Mars. Researchers confirm
The scenario depicted in Andy’s novel’ego Weir „Martian” can work out in reality. Filmed on the basis of the book, the blockbuster movie starring Matt Damon as the head of theównej shows how the protagonist plants potatoes on Mars, thanks to which he manages to survive on the Red Planet. An experiment conducted by the International Potato Center confirms that such cultivation is possible.
Research by scientistsów of the International Potato Center (Centro Internacional de la Papa, the world’s largest facilityóin a scientific site dedicated to potatoes, cassava and other edible tubers and roots) got the worker interested in theóAt NASA’s im. Joseph Ames, któers were looking for edible plants suitable for growing in Martian conditions.
Peruvian researchers conducted an experiment in which theórym simulated conditions on Mars. Project „Potatoes on Mars” Launched in February last year. Potatoes were planted in soil taken from the Pampas de La Joya desert. According to the researchers, the soil from the site most closely resembles the nutrient-poor Martian soil.
The plants were enclosed in special containers (CubeSats). Inside the containerów recreated Martian environmental conditions. First of all, air pressure and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The day and night cycle and associated light access also resembled that of Mars.
The potatoes were irrigated with nutrient-rich water. The entire process was automated. The experiment used special varieties of potato, whichóre characterized by the greatest tolerance to extreme weather conditions.
The experiment was a complete success. It turned out that in Martian conditions it is possible to grow potatoesów. It’s another brick that could make colonization of the Red Planet a reality.
– It’s a pleasant surprise. It turned out that plants are able to cope with such harsh conditions – said Walter Amoros, who participated in the study.
The conditions simulated in the experiment were similar to Martian conditions, but still not the same. Future Martian farmers will still have to solve the problem of cosmic radiation. The surface of Mars is constantly bombarded with high-energy solar wind particles. It is unlikely that any plant will grow without shielding from such radiation.