Tuesday 23 September, 2014

Space farming to help humans colonise other planets?

Published On: Thu, Jun 19th, 2014 | Plant Sciences | By BioNews

Even if humans settle down in other planets in future, will they have a sustained food supply, considering the huge cost of transporting food from earth?

Researchers believe that growing plants in space could be a possible solution.

In an attempt to develop and move microorganisms into space, Michael Mautner, a chemistry professor from Virginia Commonwealth University in the US, is growing plants on meteorite soil.

If the attempt proves successful, it could help humans grow their own food in space, helping them colonise other planets.

Mautner thinks it is entirely possible to, in the future, directly grow certain plants on other planets.

“Meteorites often contain phosphate, nitrates, and even water that plants can feed on,” Mautner told an online magazine Motherboard.

To grow the plants, Mautner ground up meteorites to create something closely resembling soil.

“A variety of soil bacteria, algae, and asparagus and potato tissue cultures grew well in these asteroid/meteorite soils and also in Martian meteorite soils,” Mautner was quoted as saying.

His plan is to eventually find several different plants and extraterrestrial soil types that provide the best conditions to farm in space.

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