Potatoes May Grow on Mars, Claim Scientists

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Lima: The International Potato Centre (CIP) in Lima, Peru, conducted a series of experiments to discover if potatoes can grow under atmospheric conditions prevailing in Mars and thereby also able to prove that they can grow in extreme climates on Earth.

The new phase of CIP’s experiment to grow potatoes in simulated Martian conditions began on February 14 last year.

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The experiment was conducted based upon designs and advice by NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California. During the experiment a tuber was planted in a specially constructed CubeSat contained environment built by engineers from the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima.

“If the crops can tolerate the extreme conditions that we are exposing them to in our CubeSat, they have a good chance to grow on Mars. We will do several rounds of experiments to find out which potato varieties do best,” said Julio Valdivia-Silva from UTEC.

Based upon designs and advice provided by the NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California, a tuber was planted in a specially constructed CubeSat contained environment built by engineers from the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima.

“We want to know what the minimum conditions are that a potato needs to survive,” he said in a statement released by CIP.

 

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