The potato is the tuber that has been chosen by NASA for farming on the surface of Mars. A team of researchers are planning to start potato farming on the surface of Mars. The team is trying to grow the tuber in the most inhospitable conditions, and the process will save millions of life on Earth.
The experiment is being spearheaded by the International Potato Centre (CIP) in Peru and NASA, is a major step towards building a controlled dome on Mars capable of farming the valuable crop.
Scientists hope to build more dynamic and accurate simulation centers on the Earth by understanding the atmospheric changes on the surface of Mars.
The potato was first domesticated in modern-day Peru and Bolivia in between 8,000 and 5,000 BCE. It has spread and has become the staple diet of many countries.
The spinoffs from this research are enormous. It will raise awareness about the incredible resilience of potatoes and will fund more research and cultivation can be started in devastated areas of the globe where malnutrition and poverty is endemic and climbing.
The project is financed by NASA and CIP and involves building a controlled dome on Mars which can hold large and bountiful crop of potatoes. It will be exciting to know how the tuber survives in such terrible condition and if successful, it could be replicated on Earth. Millions of lives of those who are starving can be saved via this bold procedure.
John Ranck, CIP Head of Communications said that Mars, a planet that died two billion years ago, will be a perfect setting for this study and if we can grow potatoes in extreme conditions like those on Mars, we can save lives on Earth.