NASA Wants To Grow Potatoes On Mars

Well, the time from prediction to near-fact is getting shorter. It turns out that NASA thinks that growing potatoes on Mars might be a cool idea - and so they are checking it out. All thanks to the book The Martian, by Andy Weir and the excellent movie.


(The Martian - the movie, the man, the potatoes)

A team of world-class scientists will grow potatoes under Martian conditions in a bid to save millions of lives. The experiment, led by the International Potato Center (CIP) and NASA, is a major step towards building a controlled dome on Mars capable of farming the invaluable crop in order to demonstrate that potatoes can be grown in the most inhospitable environments.

"How better to learn about climate change than by growing crops on a planet that died two billion years ago?" said Joel Ranck, CIP Head of Communications. "We need people to understand that if we can grow potatoes in extreme conditions like those on Mars, we can save lives on Earth."

"I am excited to put potatoes on Mars and even more so that we can use a simulated Martian terrain so close to the area where potatoes originated." said Julio E. Valdivia-Silva, SETI Researcher Associate of NASA, who is leading the project's science team.

The project is led by Will Rust, Creative Director of Memac Ogilvy Dubai. He conceived the idea while working closely with CIP to spread the word of how the potato could be the answer to global hunger. Will connected the CIP and NASA teams to initiate this project to support life on Mars and to bring direct benefit to smallholder farmers on Earth who deserve more food secure futures as well.

Read more at PhysOrg.

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