For many years, man has dreamed of reaching the soil of the Red Planet and being able to grow crops there. In the movie "Lost on Mars", Matt Damon's character succeeds in planting potatoes in a region that was previously impossible. And recently, scientists have reproduced this situation, but with another type of food. After some tests, the conclusion: tomatoes will grow in Martian soil!
The experiments conducted for tomatoes to grow in Martian soil
First, at the Florida Institute of Technology (in the Aldrin Space Institute ), a group of scientists grew the tomatoes in an environment simulating Martian conditions. Moreover, this simulation site mimics conditions on the Red Planet and is nicknamed " Redhouse ".
In addition, the experiment lasted two years and was sponsored by the Heinz brand, a giant in the ketchup market.
Generally, these crop tests provide hope for humans because they indicate that we would be able to survive outside of beloved Earth. As Mike Missimino ( former NASA astronaut ), in an interview with the Mail Online, the presence of crew members' favorite foods positively favors space travel.
Thus, the brilliant idea of producing ketchup from tomatoes grown in atypical conditions was born. Since countless Americans love tomato sauce, so does Missimino, who even took the product on his trip to the International Space Station.
It is noteworthy that the results were positive, since the scientists achieved a quality crop to produce Heinz. The following image shows the prototype of the product containing the "Martian" tomatoes:
Heinz ketchup prototype. Image: Heinz
Last week, Heinz and the Florida Institute of Technology unveiled the successful project by flying a ketchup bottle 37,000 feet in the air and returning it to the ground.
It should be noted that the industry has done massive quality testing for approval of the sauce!
Differences between cultivation on Earth and Mars
On our land, food finds a microbiota conducive to growth, but the tomatoes that will grow in Martian soil don't have those same benefits.
To do this, the researchers matched the Redhouse The ground contained 3,500kg of "Martian dust", similar to the red sand seen on Mars.
Thanks to the six rovers sent to Mars since 1997, experts have been able to reproduce the chemical composition of this "Martian dust" here on Earth.
Simulation of the tomato plantation. Picture: Heinz
Finally, the cultivation took place in arid dust with minimal fertilizer and water. Even the Redhouse has been isolated from the Earth's atmosphere.
In addition, Heinz botanists and Florida scientists tested several varieties of tomatoes. In the end, they found the type Heinzseed variety 8504 According to them, this quality achieves the pungency and low moisture content required in a sauce.
In short, this experiment brought countless hopes for effective food cultivation when man reaches Mars (which won't be long in coming!).