MessageToEagle.com

Vision For The Future: Plants Growing On Mars

29 March, 2013

Share this story:
Follow us:

MessageToEagle.com - Is it possible to grow plants on the moon?

Is this a distant future scenario?

Not for Wieger Wamelink, ecologist at Alterra Wageningen UR, for whom the future will begin on 2 April this year. He will be researching whether or not it is possible to grow plants on the moon.

We have been to the moon several times. Next time, we may go back for a considerable period. And concrete plans for a one-way ticket to Mars have already been forged. Food will have to be grown on location.



Click on image to enlarge

An artist's concept of greenhouses on Mars.


Is this a distant future scenario? Not for Wieger Wamelink, ecologist at Alterra Wageningen UR, for whom the future will begin on 2 April. He will be researching whether or not it is possible to grow plants on the moon.

Will plants survive in Martian soil or moon dust? This question was initially prompted by Dutch plans to establish a colony on Mars. As the plan does not include a return trip, the basic necessities would have to be satisfied on location. "Mars is still a long way off," says Wieger Wamelink, explaining his plans.

"But the moon is closer, so it would be more realistic to establish a colony there. What's more, we already know the mineral composition of the soil on the moon, and of moon dust. So what I'm aiming to find out now is whether plants will grow in moon substrate, or whether certain essential elements are lacking. This has never been done before.

We are gradually discovering more about Mars, which is why the planet has been included in this research."

Wamelink's research will compare the requirements of certain species of plants with the mineral composition of the soil on the moon and Mars. Alterra has a database that can analyse 25 abiotic preconditions per species and calculate whether a plant species will survive or not.

The database also stores information about heavy metals and minerals, although as yet, there are no fixed preconditions for these elements.

Using this data, he will be able to determine which plant species would theoretically be capable of growing in moon dust or Martian soil.



Click on image to enlarge

Photo Credit: NASA


"We will then allow certain species of wild plants and agricultural crops to germinate in pots of artificial moon and Martian soil supplied by NASA. The growth of these plants will be compared with that of the same species in ordinary soil from the Earth. Preconditions relating to heavy metals and minerals will be derived from our findings," Wieger Wamelink said.

"Our research is based on the premise that an atmosphere will be available to the colony, perhaps in domes or buildings. We are also assuming the presence of water, either from the moon or Mars or transported from Earth. The plants would produce oxygen and recycle carbon dioxide, ultimately creating a kind of ecosystem."

At a later stage, Wamelink also wants to look into the food safety of agricultural crops grown in human-made conditions on the moon in moon soil.
The first trial crops will be planted in greenhouses on 2 April.

MessageToEagle.com

See also:
Curiosity Rover To Drill In The "Yellowknife Bay" Area

Follow MessageToEagle.com for the latest news on Facebook and Twitter !

Don't Miss Our Stories! Get Our Daily Email Newsletter

Enter your email address:


Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be subscribed to the newsletter.

Recommend this article:

Teleportation Experiments Continue - Record-Breaking Distance of 143 Kilometers Achieved!

Violent Behavior Of Our Sun - Massive 500,000 Mile Long Filament Observed

First Massive Galaxies Lit Up The Early Universe

Intense Blue Lightning On Saturn Visible From Space In Broad Daylight!

Subscribe To Our Space, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth and Xenology News!

Grab the latest RSS feeds right to your reader, desktop or mobile phone.

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Go to - MAIN PAGE

Copyright © MessageToEagle.com All rights reserved.
Go to - MAIN PAGE


Get our top stories
Follow MessageToEagle.com

 Subscribe in a reader

Join Us On Facebook!

Other Popular Articles

Eyes on Mars:


Old Meteorite Shows Evidence Of Weathering On Mars

Puzzling Martian Rock Resembles Rocks From Earth's Interior - Curiosity's New Finding More Strange Than Thought!

UPDATE: Object Discovered By Curiosity - No Mystery - It Seems To Be A Bit Of Plastic

Martian Landscape Is Not Like Our Own - It's An Alien One!

Universe:


Juno Spacecraft's Critical Mission - To Uncover The Secrets Hidden Beneath Jupiter's Mysterious Clouds

What’s Going On Out There? - NASA's RBSP Spacecraft Will Meet ‘Killer Electrons’ And Other Dangerous Phenomena

New Photos Of Saturn And Its Moon Titan - See A Striking Change Of Colors!

Beautiful and Mysterious Superbubble In The Large Magellanic Cloud Observed By Chandra

WISE Discovers Millions Of Black Holes And 1,000 Extreme Galaxies Called Hot DOGS

Dawn Spacecraft Is Heading Towards Dwarf Planet Ceres To Investigate The Formation Of Our Solar System

Lunar Paradox Problem: Moon Origin In Focus Again!

There Is Sugar In That Star! Life Building Blocks Discovered Around A Sun-Like Star

First Planetary System Orbiting Two Suns Found By Kepler

Astronomers Test Einstein In A New Regime Using Pair of Burnt-Out Stars

The Universe Will Vanish In 100 Billion Years - Says Nobel Prize Winner Brian P. Schmidt

Our Creator Is A Cosmic Computer Programmer - Says JPL Scientist
Are we just a computer simulation? Who or what is the creator? More and more scientists are now seriously considering the possibility that we might live in a matrix, and they say that evidence could be all around us...

Mysterious, Huge 'Pigtail' Molecular Cloud Discovered In The Galactic Center

Astronomers See The Infant Universe's Oldest Galaxies Yet!

Star With The Secret Of Eternal Youth

Physicists Challenge Validity Of Big Bang Theory
We all know that the Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. However, Australian team of theoretical physicists at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University say that it's time to change our understanding of this process.


Space-Time Crystal Computer That Can Outlive Even The Universe Itself!

It may seem strange to think something can survive even the death of the Universe, but that could actually be possible as a result of the laws of quantum physics. Scientists are now suggesting a new blueprint for a device, known as a time crystal, that can theoretically continue to function as a computer even...

Dawn Spacecraft Is Heading Towards Dwarf Planet Ceres To Investigate The Formation Of Our Solar System
Dawn spacecraft is on track to become the first probe to orbit and study two distant solar system destinations, to help scientists answer questions about the formation of our solar system.

New Photos Of Saturn And Its Moon Titan - See A Striking Change Of Colors!

What’s Going On Out There? - NASA's RBSP Spacecraft Will Meet ‘Killer Electrons’ And Other Dangerous Phenomena

Mysterious X-Rays From Jupiter Near The Poles

W3Counter