Mankind has long been searching for ways to sustain life on Mars, and with a recent breakthrough in extraterrestrial farming, this goal may one day become a reality. Scientist at the International Potato Center located in Lima, Peru have made a groundbreaking discovery that could lead to potato farming on Mars.
After testing 65 strains of potatoes, researchers found four that were likely to survive on Mars. One strain in particular - known as the "Unique Potato" - was actually proven to thrive in the test environment set forth by the study.
In what sounds like something straight out of a Matt Damon movie, the researchers emulated the harsh conditions on Mars in a room they call "Mars-in-a-Box."
The ability to grow potatoes in this Mars like room could eventually lead to the ability to farm on the Red Planet.
We have long been searching for a way to sustain life on Mars. Whether or not we can find a way to inhabit the planet has been the center of many studies and debates. Part of sustaining life means we need a food source, and potatoes are the ideal test subject up to completing that task.
Potatoes have the ability to grow in harsh conditions, and could possibly produce twice the amount of food when compared to other seed crops. The ability to grow potatoes in the harsh climatic conditions tested not only gives us hope that we can one day practice agriculture on Mars, but that this also can be an answer to solving the problem of world hunger.
It's estimated that there are over 7 billion people on Earth, and that number isn't slowing down. By 2050, our population could reach over 9 billion people. As the human population grows, the food supply has taken a beating.
Unsustainable agricultural practices are threatening our food supply, and finding enough food to feed our growing population has become problematic. The Earth isn't getting any larger, and the ability to sustain our growing population is in question.
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While reducing food waste and practicing sustainable farming can help, global warming on Earth has threatened our food supply. By producing food on another planet, our problem of feeding the planet may be solved.
While this presents its own questions about sustainable practices along the lines of reducing a carbon footprint, the discovery itself is still groundbreaking.