We could visit Mars within a decade—and grow food when we get there

crops on mars

A visit to Mars is almost guaranteed within the next decade or so …. And long-term occupation may not be much farther behind. [T]here are many obstacles to overcome …. one of them is …. learning to farm in new places …. there’s reason to be optimistic about our skills off-world.

Mars isn’t so dissimilar from Earth …. They have rocky surfaces, and they’re close-ish in size, composition, and gravity – about as good as we can get in this solar system …. Mars even has some water …. The planet is much colder …. And it’s pretty lacking in anything resembling an atmosphere.

But humans have been learning to farm in hostile environments since we began to grow our own food …. We understand how to make soil plants can love …. At the Florida Institute of Technology, a group of researchers and students have been trying out their martian farming skills. They tried planting crops in Earth soil (for a control), mock martian regolith, and the same regolith with added fertilizer. They started with lettuce, and soon added tomatoes, peas, and peppers.

Related article:  'The Farm Project': Actress Zooey Deschanel's advice on organic food, pesticides is short on science

There are still many challenges to overcome …. But there’s definitely hope that future martian settlers will be able to …. crops grown on their very own martian farms.

Read full, original article: Scientists are figuring out how to farm Mars

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend