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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spinach and tomatoes may be grown on Mars

Remember the stories in "The Martian" movie where Mark Whatney (Matt Damon) stranded alone on Mars and eventually farmed out to survive? The story that only exist in science fiction it may indeed be the case. Humans can be farmed on Mars to survive.

And researchers from Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands recently doing agricultural research in an environment designed to resemble the Mars. The Mars similar environment designed with a specific temperature and pressure and soil as a growth medium is taken from the volcanic soil in Hawaii.
The researchers found that the Spinacha, tomatoes and another 8 plants may be grown on Mars. (Pictured: Matt Damon in 'The Martian' movie.) (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1Ydw1A)
There are 10 species of plants that have been tested, including tomatoes. lettuce, leeks, spinach, turnips, and beans. Just like in the "The Martian" movie, the plant was watered too. Wieger Wamelink who led the research said, "The production of biomass in the Mars simulated environment lower than the Earth, but the difference is small."

"It is really surprising. It shows that the potential for a Mars simulated environment when prepared for farmed and irrigated properly," he said as quoted by Science Alert on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

This research has not been published in scientific journals. In addition, research is also being conducted only with appropriate medium Martian soil, but do not receive the level of radiation in the environment of Mars.

Research also merely stated that the plant may be grown on Mars, it is not said that the plants that grow in the Martian environment was suitable for consumption.

"The land (in a Martian similar environment) contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and too much iron. If there are components that plants may take it, are present in the fruit, making it toxic," explains Wamelink.

However, results show that plants can grow in a Martian similar environment itself is encouraging. Going forward, further research could be done. The research team is collecting funds to do some more research. The next experiment will be conducted in April next year. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE ALERT]
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