NASA’s Potato Experiment
Potatoes are wholesome plant tubers first cultivated in the Andes region of South America. In the early 16th century, Spanish people brought it to the Europe. And now NASA wants grow them on the Mars.
Potatoes are one of the cheapest foods available on the earth and it is highly filled with nutritious benefits. It contains carbohydrates, protein and vitamin C. It is clearly an extra-ordinary dietary supplement.
Why NASA doing it?
NASA will send researchers to the Mars and India may be the part of the operation. Now, If researchers will spent time on Mars, then what will they eat? In answer to that question NASA is carrying out study to grow Potatoes on the Mars.
Instead of carrying Potatoes to Mars, NASA’s researchers are developing methods to grow Potatoes in Mars environment at the Lima-based International Potato Center along with scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
A planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, Chris McKay said, “When humans go to Mars, they will want to grow things. They’ll need food.” Chris, who is also a participant in the potato study added, “I think we’ll be able to find varieties of potatoes that will grow at cold and low-pressure conditions. That would be interesting to know for Mars applications.”
We have all seen the Oscar nominated Martian, where Matt Damon was playing Botanist, who got stuck on the planate Mars and he successfully figured out how to grow Potatoes on the red planate. The movie was a science fiction but the act of growing potatoes on the Mars may become reality.
Why NASA thought that it is Possible?
Potatoes can grow in various kinds of climate conditions. This ability believes to be the best choice to try on the Mars. To put this to the test, experiments of cultivating them under harsh environments are carrying out in the Pampas de La Joya Desert of Peru–one of the driest places. The location is long favored by NASA for various kinds of experiments.
The potato research there contains 65 varieties of the vegetable, where scientists are trying to determine which the best for deployment on Mars is. NASA plans to move about 590 kilograms of this soil to Peru, Where they closely examine Martian atmospheric conditions to discover which of these potatoes comes out as the best choice.
Odds of success for NASA:
Peruvian Scientist Walter Amoros believes that to grow potatoes on the Mars is impossible. The temperature on Mars swings from 28 degrees Celsius to -175 degrees Celsius. Mars’s atmosphere comprises 96 percent carbon dioxide and its gravity is 40 percent that of earth. Scientist Walter Amoros said, “I don’t think they’ll grow in the open air [on Mars]. They will have to plant them under controlled conditions, in domes.”
But if Walter Amoros’s theory proves right, there are another ways of growing potatoes on the Mars. If the soil on the red planate happens to be unfertile for any kind of vegetables, there are other methods of cultivation, such as hydroponics and aeroponics where nutrients are provided via water and air.
In any method, it looks like NASA is determined to grow potatoes on the planate Mars. And the scientist going up there will definitely eat only potatoes for a very long time. And one way or another we have seen in past that NASA can do it.