Scientists to Grow Potatoes on Earth Under Mars–Like Condition
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Red Planet Potatoes
In a major step towards building a controlled dome on Mars for cultivating potatoes, the International Potato Centre (CIP), Peru and NASA are planning to grow potatoes under Mars–like condition on the earth. The experiment aims to demonstrate that potato can be grown even in the most inhospitable environment.
Researchers revealed that the goal is to increase awareness of the incredible resilience of potatoes and further fund research and farming in devastated areas across the globe where malnutrition and poverty are prevalent.
Scientists will replicate the Martian atmospheric conditions in a laboratory by sourcing soil, which is almost identical to that of Mars from Pampas de La Joya desert in Peru. The Martian atmosphere consists of nearly 95 percent carbon dioxide. High levels of carbon dioxide benefits crops by increasing their yield by two to four times than a regular grain crop under normal earth conditions. The success of this experiment will help scientists in exploring the areas of space farming.