The humble potato is a staple food for many cultures across the globe. But it may just be an important food for the future of space exploration. A recent experiment has taken place in the Peruvian capital, Lima.
The experiment saw a potato plant growing in conditions similar to what you might find on the surface of Mars. Exciting stuff! Experiments were conducted using Peru’s desert soil. Conditions were set up to mimic the harsh climate on Mars.
These included an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide. The experiments were completed at the International Potato Centre and early results show a lot of promise. The hope is that one-day potatoes may well be able to be harvested in the harsh conditions on Mars.
The research has a multitude of purposes because it won’t just aid future space exploration but may also be used to aid countries with arid climates that find agriculture taxing.
Julio Valdivia a Peruvian astrobiologist highlighted how the project wasn’t just about the idea of growing vegetables on Mars but finding crops that can resist the elements and grow in difficult areas on our own planet.