NASA has a dream to colonize humans on the neighboring planet. i.e. Mars. Nowadays, it seems like the American space agency is taking footsteps towards its ultimate goal. Researchers are striving to solve one of the significant challenges of the mission – food security. On this account, they have discovered nine different veggies that support the Martian environment. Yes, you got it right, scientists have found some vegetables that can grow on Mars as well as in Moon soil. The list includes radishes, tomatoes, quinoa, garden cress, chives, rocket, pea, leek, rye, and spinach.
A team of researchers from Wageningen University has carried out the research. They have used simulated lunar and Martian regolith gained from NASA blended with some organic matter. The team has succeeded to harvest the fruits of some crops along with their seeds. Even more, some of the plants will assist to grow next-generation of crops. Wieger Wamelink, the leading scientist of the project, said they were amazed when they saw the first tomatoes ever grown on Mars soil simulant turning red. He noted it means that the next step towards a sustainable closed agricultural ecosystem had been taken. Notably, only one vegetable has failed to grow in the Martian and lunar soil – spinach.
Notably, the team has used regolith simulations of Mars and the moon. Currently, NASA does not have the real regolith, thus it has developed simulants of regolith. The space agency has brought Moon regolith, but soil from mars is yet to come. Thus, the team has used simulated soils. The primary aim of the study was to cultivate and harvest crops on regolith simulants of Mars and Moon. The team has published its findings in the journal Open Agriculture, entitled, Crop growth and viability of seeds on Mars and Moon soil simulants. The research reads if humans are going to establish a base on the Moon or on Mars they will have to grow their own crops.
Rebecca always wanted to be a scientist, but she settled down for scientific communication when she found the expertise in the command of language. Right now, Rebecca contributes regularly to the science sector of the Janmorgan Media, offering insightful perspectives very often.