The International Potato Center (CIP) launched a series of experiments to discover if potatoes can grow under Mars atmospheric conditions and thereby prove they are also able to grow in extreme climates on Earth.
Excuse me? We’re right here, you know, on Earth. The place that’s mentioned in the article is based in Lima (Peru) which has some pretty inhospitable territory just on the other side of the Andes.
The Potatoes on Mars project was conceived by CIP to both understand how potatoes might grow in Mars conditions and also see how they survive in the extreme conditions similar to what parts of the world already suffering from climate change and weather shocks are already experiencing.
Oh, spare me the “climate change” blather, will you?
“Growing crops under Mars-like conditions is an important phase of this experiment,” says Julio Valdivia-Silva, a research associate with the SETI Institute who has worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center (NASA ARC) and now works at 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. “We want to know what the minimum conditions are that a potato needs to survive,” he said.
This is vitally important research. Without something to eat, pigs cannot survive on Mars. And without pigs, there won’t be any bacon. And without bacon, human occupation and development of Mars is doomed.