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Light Snack

Posted by tufolib on August 8, 2015 at 6:55 AM


Who likes food? In fact, who likes food in space? Well, you'll never know until you try it!


The way I imagined it is that growing plants on Mars would be slightly different to ones grown on Earth. This is because of the difference between their gravities. However, due to time constraints, I haven't investigated the results of growing plants on the Space Station yet. However, while writing this, I did come across a statement about plants in space being unaffected by a lack of gravity! They were said to still grow their roots at the same angles as on Earth, and must be considered different to taking seeds into space, then bringing them back and planting them on Earth many years ago.


What has made me think seriously about this subject is what I have seen and/or photographed on Earth. Ther are lots of examples of new shoots growing across or down, out of stumps - and then turning at right angles or greater to shoot upwards!


I have wondered if the gravity of Mars, being only about 38% of Earth's, would allow plants to grow taller, but I have also thought they could be less dense, making consumption of more plant material necessary to get the same amount of nutrients! Years ago, a supermarket branched out into hydroponics, growing vegetables in at least one shop! However, I heard that the produce was different in some way so it never sold at all well.


Plastic pipes (or guttering) were used, with water containing the nutrients. No solid medium was present in any form like compost, chemicals, sponges etc. For food to be successfully grown on Mars, I imagine that some of the plant material on spaceships will have to be set aside to create compost as the Martian soil doesn't seem to have much value in it.


Without a lot of nitrogen in the atmosphere, I just can't see how plants can be grown outside living areas - unless it is contained in hermetically sealed containers! If there is any life on Mars, it might not be substantial enough to contribute to the greening of that planet. One thing is for sure, the first human baby born there will definitely be an alien! It will actually be a real-life Martian!


Categories: Ray Thomas

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