Research, Studies/Reports, Trends

Author, scientist inspired by Martian spud research

As a retired potato seed pathologist who also writes science fiction novels, Phil Nolte will pay close attention when NASA and the International Potato Center seek to prove the plausibility of growing potatoes on Mars. The experiment could help validate a central theme in one of Nolte’s favorite books, The Martian, by Andy Weir, which brought the concept of raising spuds on the Red Planet to the world’s consciousness. Nolte, who retired in early 2015 from University of Idaho and released his fourth novel, The Deimos Artifact, on Dec. 15, understands authors must sometimes stretch the truth for the sake of a good story. With a few plot tweaks, Nolte believes the crop production system described in The Martian, now a major motion picture, could be made good enough. More

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