Ever wondered how space food tastes like? Tiny silver-lined packages, sealed tight, dehydrated, that are supposed to taste like chicken or beef or to remind you of the last Thanksgiving dinner you threw at you parent’s house. Some might call them disgusting, others useful, we shall call them “a thing of the past”. The Garden of Mars is now opened for business and the perspective is fantastic.
With our own flesh-and-blood Mark Watney, the guy who planted potatoes on Martian soil, using human excrements, we can now stop dreaming about trips to other worlds and start working on how to get there.
It is no big news that NASA wants to extend the human reach in our Solar System. This was planned decades ago and since then, extensive research has been conducted in order to come up with some sort of viable technology that is able to ensure safe trips into space.
NASA flight directory announced that they will be planning a trip to Mars in 2030 and the preparations are already under way. Apart from their endeavor to solve some technical puzzles regarding the trip itself, NASA plans to cook up a plan to bring fresh food to astronauts.
As part of their program to study the long-term effects of space travel and habitation in outer space on the human body, NASA intends to develop a method so that astronauts will be able to grow their own food is space.
Bruce Bugbee, a botanist, and the director of Plants, Soils and Climate Department, from Utah, is the one who plans of open up the garden of Mars. For some time now, Bugbee has been collaborating with NASA in order to create viable life-support stations for shuttles and for the International Space Station.
The botanist believes that it is indeed possible to create plant life using ground-based growth chambers. Earlier this year, Bugbee conducted a couple of plant growing experiments aboard the International Space Station and managed to successfully grow and harvest a healthy crop of green lettuce.
Being a big fan of “The Martian”, Bugbee said that Watney’s approach to growing plant life is not entirely science fiction. Although it is highly unlikely to take pure Martian soil, spread some manure on it, plant some stuff in it and wait some it to grow, research showed that if the soils chemical balance is altered through technological means, you can use it to grow your own stuff in it.
Bugbee also added that plants can grow more efficiently in space because their growth will now be affected by gravity.
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