Moon and Martian soil substitutes have been used to grow crops and recently have had some success. The Dutch-based research centre Wageningen University found the results the same as when compost was used. NASA provided the stimulants and got the Mars soil from a volcano in Hawaii and the moon soil is from the Arizona desert.
When used in isolation, the stimulants did not sustain the plants, but later with manure and grass cuttings added ten crops including leeks, rye, cress and chives and a greenhouse used. The products that grew successfully were rye, peas, tomato, radish, rocket and cress, and the amount equalled that grown in compost. Dr Wieger Wamelink was pleased that there was not a lot of difference in the quantity produced.
The results show that will be proper treatment, and there are promising signs, but also problems to overcome. The main issue is some metals in the foodstuff as a result of the makeup of the soil and this includes mercury and lead. The hope is to serve eventually a “Martian Meal” minus the metal to the people who are involved in the project.
This is why there is going to be the third round of studies and they will begin in the spring. The food could not be eaten with the amount of metal that is currently present and that is why it has to be removed. It will be a great treat when the participants are eventually able to sit down and eat their treat.
Feature Image; The Martian