Mankind has been dreaming for a long timecolonization of other planets. But let's imagine that a hypothetical mission to Mars has taken place. The first settlers successfully landed on the surface of the Red Planet and built a base. But what do they do when they run out of supplies brought from Earth? The easiest way is to start cultivating crops. But is the soil of other cosmic bodies suitable for this? A similar question was asked by scientists from the Netherlands.
How to grow plants on Mars?
According to the editorial board of Sciencedaily magazine,Researchers from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands have checked whether it is possible to farm outside the Earth. To do this, they tested developed by NASA analogues of the lunar and Martian soils. The study was led by Dr. Viger Wamelink. He and his colleagues planted soil samples with ten different crops: watercress, arugula, tomatoes, radishes, rye, spinach, quinoa, peas, chives and leeks. In addition, all these same plants were planted in ordinary terrestrial soil, which acted as a control.
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As a result, nine out of ten seeded crops sproutedand they could be assembled. Moreover, the analysis showed that the plants are completely edible and are not much different from the "earth". Only spinach, which didn’t want to grow in “alien” soil, let us down. Moreover, the total amount of plant biomass grown was approximately the same in terrestrial and Martian soil. The moon in this regard showed slightly worse results. What do you think about this? Tell us about it in our chat in Telegram.
We were thrilled when we saw that the firsttomatoes grown on Martian soil turned red. This meant that a confident step was taken towards the development of technology to create a sustainable closed agricultural ecosystem. - said Dr. Viger Vamelink.
But that is not all. Some plants even produced seeds. In particular, radishes, rye and watercress. These seeds were tested for germination, and they were suitable for further sowing and cultivation of crops. Scientists believe that their study is an important step towards creating sustainable autonomous colonies outside the Earth that will provide themselves with food on their own. Of course, the search for scientists does not take into account the fact of the presence of cosmic radiation and the absence of the atmosphere. But no one forbids, roughly speaking, to fly to Mars with seeds and build greenhouses while maintaining suitable conditions of the internal environment. And the soil can be taken right on the spot.
However, this is not interesting pointsend up. The fact that the terrestrial and Martian soils “appeared” almost identically speaks not only of the suitability of the planet’s surface for farming, but also that plant life could have quite successfully existed on Mars some time ago.