Research, Trends

A plan to grow potatoes on Mars in the works

NASA is teaming up with Peru’s International Potato Centre to start cultivating said vegetable in Mars-like conditions on Earth. The International Potato Center (known as “CIP,” the acronym of its Spanish name “Centro Internacional De La Papa”) — a tuber and root farming organization — has announced it is combining forces with NASA to form a research project intended to demonstrate the potato’s potential by eventually cultivating the food on Earth in soils similar to what currently exists on the Red Planet. The dirt to be used as the substitute for Martian soil will come from the Pampas de La Joya Desert in Peru, and the experiment will take place under simulated Martian atmospheric conditions in a lab. It is believed that the atmosphere on Mars — nearly 95 percent carbon dioxide as reported by the CIP — could yield a tater crop double, or even quadruple a normal Earth grain harvest. More and more

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