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NASA planning to grow plants on Mars by 2021

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The space agency's next rover could be conducting its very own planet-growth experiment on Mars.

The plants will be contained within a special sealed box along with soil, air and a regular sprinkling of water to help them grow over the course of a couple of weeks. The experiment would be a first step towards the possible future colonization of the planet.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...on-mars-by-2021

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Plants are great way to terraform an planet, that is if it has an atmosphere that is rich in Carbon Monoxide. Plants breath Carbon Monoxide and expel Oxygen... great way to build up an breathable atmosphere as long as they survive. The other problem would to jump start the planets magnetic fields by liquidify the core which is easier said then done. If they could do this, Mars could easily blossom into an habitable planet.

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Why anyone would go to all that bother when the experiment can be performed within a Mars simulator right here on Earth is a mystery.

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There might unforeseen problems we don't yet know about to simulate here on Earth. The only way to know if plants will grow on mars is to grow them on mars. I would like to see if they could get them to grow in some Martian dirt. I guess they would have to add microbes, though. Plants are complex creatures there is a lot we still don't know about them and their needs.

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All the problems will be environmental and that is why they will be grown in artificial earth environments.

If they are tested in a Mars simulator her on Earth first then the problem of getting to Mars is eliminated.

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Can't hurt to try on an otherwise dead planet. Life seems to be adaptable, even to extremes.

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So the experiment is om whether Earth soil will grow plants under Mars conditions and not to see if Mars soil will grow Earthe plants. I guess that's a first step.

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I thought the idea was not to send Earth lifeforms to Mars. Its why the space agencies spend millions on sterilizing their spacecraft in the first place. If they do it the Chinese will use it as an excuse to send unsterilized stuff to the planet, and elsewhere knowing them.

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Posted (edited)

Isn't Mars a bit inhospitable for plants to grow? I mean, an average temp of -80f (60c) CITATION ,wouldn't exactly be optimal. Not knocking this, but with such a thin atmosphere, heat cannot remain. I don't know much of the supposed ideas behind 'terraforming', but there seems to be many issues that will arise. I know they are planning to use an enclosed environment for this, but outside of the box, I do not believe we can make it work. Sure, it'd be cool to have bubbles of life, but Mars itself would be near impossible to make habitable to our standards, no?

EDIT: I welcome corrections and education. I will not pretend to know everything

Edited by RedSquirrel

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Why anyone would go to all that bother when the experiment can be performed within a Mars simulator right here on Earth is a mystery.

If you know how a Mars simulator on Earth can simulate 1/3g then I'm sure NASA would love to hear it.

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If you know how a Mars simulator on Earth can simulate 1/3g then I'm sure NASA would love to hear it.

1/3g wont affect a plants notion of up or down...

A Martian year is nearly twice as long, spring lasting 7months and the shortest month is winter lasting 4 months. In theory a growing season would be very productive. It is doubtful that photosynthesis could occur outside of greenhouse cocoons, but it would be possible to vent the gases into the Martian atmosphere.

It is interesting that Martian days are only about 40 min longer than Earth. Solar power is everything. As well as a solar cycle life depends on biorhythms induced from the lunar cycle, so would deimos and phobos have any positive influence in that regard, you be the judge....

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/14/viral-video-of-the-day-the-moons-of-mars.html

I wonder if a special seed might be genetically developed especially for the terraforming of Mars. It does seem possible that some of the obvious problems could be overcome synthetically with the very recent concept of NANOBIONICS.

Nanobionics engineering of plant function may contribute to the development of biomimetic materials for light-harvesting and biochemical detection with regenerative properties and enhanced efficiency.

http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v13/n4/full/nmat3890.html

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1/3g wont affect a plants notion of up or down...

And you know this how exactly?

How many times does it have to be explained to you that wild guesses are not the same as knowledge?

Since NO ONE has ever grown plants in 1/3g NO ONE can be certain what affect this will have on plant growth, not even you.

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And you know this how exactly?

How many times does it have to be explained to you that wild guesses are not the same as knowledge?

Since NO ONE has ever grown plants in 1/3g NO ONE can be certain what affect this will have on plant growth, not even you.

How can you call a 50% chance of being right or wrong a wild guess? Either im right or wrong about this no more and no less. The same way that water runs downhill in 1/3g, A seedling will not be adversely affected by 1/3 g. A plant grows towards the light source which on Mars happens to be 'up'.

How do you suppose vegies grow so remarkably well in Zero Gs? This is not a riddle but a question.

But because I could be equally as wrong as you on this, please explain why you think 1/3g growth couldnt work?

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Posted (edited)

How can you call a 50% chance of being right or wrong a wild guess?

You make a statement of fact:-

Q. Is it based on observation?

A. No.

Q. Is it based on logical deduction?

A. Absolutely not.

Q. Is it based on your extensive knowledge of botany?

A. Don't make me laugh.

By a process of elimination that just leaves wild guess.

Either im right or wrong about this no more and no less.

Wrong.

You are assuming there are only two possible outcomes. This is not true.

This not an "all or nothing" situation. 1/3g could reduce a plant's ability to grow in the correct way. This could mean a greater number of seeds failing to germinate properly leading to a healthy but reduced crop. Alternatively all the seeds could germinate but the plants are unhealthy. Or possibly a combination. I'm no expert in botany so there could be outcomes I haven't considered. It's possible there will be out comes that NO ONE has considered.

The same way that water runs downhill in 1/3g, A seedling will not be adversely affected by 1/3 g.

Repeating rubbish doesn't suddenly make it clever. You do not know this. It is still a wild guess.

A plant grows towards the light source which on Mars happens to be 'up'.

And it does this while it is still underground how exactly?

Plants grow towards the light once the shoots are above ground or close enough to the surface that light can penetrate (this is know as phototropism). But the plant needs to know which way is up before that otherwise it might end up with it;s roots above ground and it's leaves in the soil. There are two possible ways that it can do this. One is that it's roots can detect and grow towards water (known as hydrotropism). Another is that a plant can detect the direction of gravity (gravitropism). If the gravitropism is affected it could potentially cause problems, particularly with the large scale planet growth needed to siupport a colony on the moon or Mars.

How do you suppose vegies grow so remarkably well in Zero Gs? This is not a riddle but a question.

Partly because the seeds are not in deep soil and bright, artificial lights are used increasing the effect of phototropism, however even then the roots do not grow in the same way as they do on Earth (see HERE).

Sunlight is greatly reduced on Mars, the plants will receive less than half the light it would on Earth so, unless the planets are grown under artificial lights (which would consume a large amount of energy) phototropism will also be reduced on Mars. The effects of reduced sunlight you can reproduce on Earth, the effects of reduced gravity you can't.

The fact that plants can now be grown with a fair degree of success is not the result of wild guesses. There have been more than a decade of experiments on board the ISS to reach this point. Before that the USA and ESA were experimenting on the shuttle and the Russians on the Mir and Salyut space stations. The current ability to grow plants in space (on a very small scale) is the result of more than 3 decades of almost constant experimentation... and scientists STILL don't have all the answers.

But because I could be equally as wrong as you on this, please explain why you think 1/3g growth couldnt work?

You long ago demonstrated that you can not grasp the most simple science, now you are demonstrating that you can't grasp very simple English either. I try to make things as simple as possible when I'm dealing with you, but to no avail it would seem.

I did not, at any point, say that it couldn't work in 1/3g.

What I DID said was this:

Since NO ONE has ever grown plants in 1/3g NO ONE can be certain what affect this will have on plant growth, not even you.

What part of tghe following do you not understand?

NO ONE can be certain

Science is NOT about making guesses. Science is about trying to find the correct answer through experimentation and observation. The default position of science is "we don't know". Science is about continually learning. What you do in making ridiculous statements, wild guesses and simply making stuff up and claiming it as fact is about as far away from science as it is possible to be.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
added final paragraph.
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Posted (edited)

You make a statement of fact:-

Q. Is it based on observation?

A. No.

Q. Is it based on logical deduction?

A. Absolutely not.

Q. Is it based on your extensive knowledge of botany?

A. Don't make me laugh.

By a process of elimination that just leaves wild guess.

Already Earth based Mars simulations have yielded more than wild guesses.

Wieger said : I was very surprised when we found out plants grew better in the Mars soil than in the Earth soil. The Earth soil that we used was quite clean, a kind of river soil, relatively poor in minerals. But I didn’t expect the Mars soil to produce better plants.

The growth trials also revealed that although plant growth on Mars is far from impossible it is unlikely to generate a viable food source for a human colony.

The research is linked to the “Mars One” project – which aims to put the first people on Mars in a decade’s time. But it’s already certain that it will be impossible to grow tomatoes for a salad, for example, because although a plant grown in Mars soil could produce a tomato, but it would contain so many heavy metals that it would be toxic and inedible.

http://www.euronews.com/2013/10/02/plant-life-on-mars/

Wrong.

You are assuming there are only two possible outcomes. This is not true.

This not an "all or nothing" situation. 1/3g could reduce a plant's ability to grow in the correct way. This could mean a greater number of seeds failing to germinate properly leading to a healthy but reduced crop. Alternatively all the seeds could germinate but the plants are unhealthy. Or possibly a combination. I'm no expert in botany so there could be outcomes I haven't considered. It's possible there will be out comes that NO ONE has considered.

The most likely scenario is this... being protected in their special cocoon the seeds will germinate when warmed and water is added. The germination requires little or no light. So begins a natural cycle.

Repeating rubbish doesn't suddenly make it clever. You do not know this. It is still a wild guess.

Yes. You are very fond of repeating the words "wild guess" over and over etc....

And it does this while it is still underground how exactly?

Plants grow towards the light once the shoots are above ground or close enough to the surface that light can penetrate (this is know as phototropism). But the plant needs to know which way is up before that otherwise it might end up with it;s roots above ground and it's leaves in the soil. There are two possible ways that it can do this. One is that it's roots can detect and grow towards water (known as hydrotropism). Another is that a plant can detect the direction of gravity (gravitropism). If the gravitropism is affected it could potentially cause problems, particularly with the large scale planet growth needed to siupport a colony on the moon or Mars.

A plant will naturally take care of itself in 1/3g. Finding 'down' is not really an issue.

The experiments we are about to describe started as a new approach to an old problem—the mechanism of gravity perception in plants. All higher plants are sensitive to gravity; indeed the oriented growth of organs such as roots, shoots, and leaves is governed primarily by it. If a plant organ is by any means displaced from its normal direction of growth, certain regions of the organ sensitive to gravity will perceive the change and then, by a hormone-mediated mechanism, will induce one side of the organ to grow faster than the other, producing a curvature tending to restore the normal orientation to the growing part of the organ. The sensitive areas are usually the extreme apical regions.

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-4757-0214-9_15

Magnetotropism might be more of a challenge. Weak or strong magnetic fields are known to inhibit a plants growth cycle and inhibit water absorbtion, but fortunately there do exist pockets of magnetic force upon Mars surface that could assist and even enhance growth.

Partly because the seeds are not in deep soil and bright, artificial lights are used increasing the effect of phototropism, however even then the roots do not grow in the same way as they do on Earth (see HERE).

Sunlight is greatly reduced on Mars, the plants will receive less than half the light it would on Earth so, unless the planets are grown under artificial lights (which would consume a large amount of energy) phototropism will also be reduced on Mars. The effects of reduced sunlight you can reproduce on Earth, the effects of reduced gravity you can't.

The fact that plants can now be grown with a fair degree of success is not the result of wild guesses. There have been more than a decade of experiments on board the ISS to reach this point. Before that the USA and ESA were experimenting on the shuttle and the Russians on the Mir and Salyut space stations. The current ability to grow plants in space (on a very small scale) is the result of more than 3 decades of almost constant experimentation... and scientists STILL don't have all the answers.

What i have been saying about 1/3g environments is confirmed by astroscience upon the ISS.

This from your own link...

...ROOTS apparently DONT NEED GRAVITY to ORIENT their directional skewing. They'll GROW AWAY FROM A LIGHT SOURCE REGARDLESS of GRAVITATIONAL FORCES...

...Though PLANTS ON EARTH DO USE GRAVITY to help determine their DIRECTION OF GROWTH, ....."IT IS CLEAR THAT GRAVITY IS NIETHER ESSENTIAL FOR ROOT ORIENTATION,..... NOR is it the only factor influencing the patterns of ROOT GROWTH," wrote lead authors Anna-Lisa Paul and Robert Ferl in the Dec. 2012 issue of the journal BMC Plant Biology...

You long ago demonstrated that you can not grasp the most simple science, now you are demonstrating that you can't grasp very simple English either. I try to make things as simple as possible when I'm dealing with you, but to no avail it would seem.

I did not, at any point, say that it couldn't work in 1/3g.

What I DID said was this:

What part of tghe following do you not understand?

Science is NOT about making guesses. Science is about trying to find the correct answer through experimentation and observation. The default position of science is "we don't know". Science is about continually learning. What you do in making ridiculous statements, wild guesses and simply making stuff up and claiming it as fact is about as far away from science as it is possible to be.

Regardless, im pretty certain science has already answered the 1/3g question.

Edited by taniwha

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Why anyone would go to all that bother when the experiment can be performed within a Mars simulator right here on Earth is a mystery.

We do have a Mars simulator here on earth? Where exactly?

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Posted (edited)

...ROOTS apparently DONT NEED GRAVITY to ORIENT their directional skewing. They'll GROW AWAY FROM A LIGHT SOURCE REGARDLESS of GRAVITATIONAL FORCES..

Funny the word you DIDN'T emphasis, I'll do it for you:

...roots APPARENTLY don't need gravity to orientate their directional skewing.

Weird isn't it that you are absolutely certain of the results, yet the experts, who have spent 3 decades experimenting aren't. Take a wild guess who I believe (and I'll give you a big clue, it isn't you).

Now compare the second part of that quote to what I said:

They'll GROW AWAY FROM A LIGHT SOURCE REGARDLESS of GRAVITATIONAL FORCES..

Partly because the seeds are not in deep soil and bright, artificial lights are used increasing the effect of phototropism

Care to point out where your quote disagrees with what I said. Actually I,ll save you from having to make another wild guess and I'll give you the answer... it doesn't.

Face it taniwha, you don't know what you are talking about; I know it, everyone else knows it, the only question is whether you know it. Your posts (not just in this topic but throughout the Space Exploration and Astronomy sections) are a combination of (usually wrong) guesses and out of context quotes which you clearly don't understand.

When a sensible man is at the bottom of a deep hole he stops digging. Are you going to be sensible or are you going to dig yourself in deeper?

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted (edited)

We do have a Mars simulator here on earth? Where exactly?

Spain. The simulator is called MARTE.

Researchers in Spain have developed a vacuum chamber that can recreate most of the physical conditions found on Mars. The chamber, which cost over $200,000 to make and took a year to build, allows scientists to test the electromechanical gear that's being considered for use in future missions to the red planet. Their results were published today in Review of Scientific Instruments.

Its amazing what these guys have achieved on a very meagre budget.

http://www.astrobio.net/news-exclusive/mars-in-a-box-a-full-spectrum-simulation/

OR... Read more here...

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/25/5544700/chamber-simulates-mars-right-here-earth

MARTE isnt designed as a growth simulator, but can mimick to the highest standards a Martian environment and atmosphere here on Earth. MARTE is in his infancy but in future, temperature variables need to be considered as well as other geophysical and stellar challenges to be overcome. Who knows how far away a fully interactive Martian growth simulator is from being realised.

Its obvious that in Mars present state there is not many, if any, crop capable of thriving upon its surface. Isnt that the reason why any crop on Mars will need to be simulated in Earth like cocoons anyway? Who knows how a seed will evolve from one generation to the next with Martian gravity as a stimulus? Time tells all. What genetic strains of plant life might thrive best on Mars? Perhaps future simulators could make it possible to environmentally engineer any number of plant species for any potential host planets or moon.

Have you ever heard of Weiger Wamelink of the Netherlands and his fascinating pioneering research? He is linked in an earlier post and here is more of an insight...

http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/scientist-week-wieger-wamelink

Combined, there exists on Earth an entire worldwide industry dedicated to the simulation of Mars at some fantastic level.

Edited by taniwha

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Posted (edited)

Care to point out where your quote disagrees with what I said. Actually I,ll save you from having to make another wild guess and I'll give you the answer... it doesn't.

Face it taniwha, you don't know what you are talking about; I know it, everyone else knows it, the only question is whether you know it. Your posts (not just in this topic but throughout the Space Exploration and Astronomy sections) are a combination of (usually wrong) guesses and out of context quotes which you clearly don't understand.

When a sensible man is at the bottom of a deep hole he stops digging. Are you going to be sensible or are you going to dig yourself in deeper?

You rule out everything i say yet up to this point you have never personally been to Mars. All i can suggest is that you at least have the patience to wait until the results of 2021 are in before making further comment. Thank you.

Its late now so for your amusement...

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/robot-designed-to-help-earth-plants-grow-on-mars.html

Edited by taniwha

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Posted (edited)

Spain. The simulator is called MARTE.

I was aware about this system but to call this a “Mars Simulator” or alike is false and misleading.

With this system the following Mars equivalent conditions can be simulated:

- Atmospheric pressure

- Atmospheric gas composition/s

- Humidity

- Temperature

- Sun illumination

- UV radiation

- Dust deposition

These characteristic fulfill the requirements for test trials of specific technical equipment to be used on Mars. But

the system does not fulfill and does not provide the full number of the needed requirements to conduct studies with

the target to investigate the growth of terrestrial organisms/plants on a foreign celestial body due to the following

missing characteristic those cannot be simulated by MARTE:

- Gravitation

- Cosmic radiation

In addition, as cosmic radiation cannot be simulated by MARTE, there would be no test data generated about the influence

of cosmic radiation on the plant seeds during the trip to Mars but this data is also of a very high importance as we do not have

such data as plant seeds were never taken to Mars before.

The 2 characteristics (gravitation/cosmic radiation) are important for the research and your claim that a plant will also grow at

1/3g is a guess that is correct but you have to take into mind that the planned tests are fundamental research in relation to possible

farming on another planet with the target to feed people and not with the target to breed some cactus for the window bench.

Recapitulatory, your claim as shown below is incorrect as there is no “Mars simulator” on earth as it is impossible in

general to “simulate” a planet.

Why anyone would go to all that bother when the experiment can be performed within a Mars simulator right here on

Earth is a mystery.

Edited by toast
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I was aware about this system but to call this a “Mars Simulator” or alike is false and misleading.

With this system the following Mars equivalent conditions can be simulated:

- Atmospheric pressure

- Atmospheric gas composition/s

- Humidity

- Temperature

- Sun illumination

- UV radiation

- Dust deposition

These characteristic fulfill the requirements for test trials of specific technical equipment to be used on Mars. But

the system does not fulfill and does not provide the full number of the needed requirements to conduct studies with

the target to investigate the growth of terrestrial organisms/plants on a foreign celestial body due to the following

missing characteristic those cannot be simulated by MARTE:

- Gravitation

- Cosmic radiation

In addition, as cosmic radiation cannot be simulated by MARTE, there would be no test data generated about the influence

of cosmic radiation on the plant seeds during the trip to Mars but this data is also of a very high importance as we do not have

such data as plant seeds were never taken to Mars before.

The 2 characteristics (gravitation/cosmic radiation) are important for the research and your claim that a plant will also grow at

1/3g is a guess that is correct but you have to take into mind that the planned tests are fundamental research in relation to possible

farming on another planet with the target to feed people and not with the target to breed some cactus for the window bench.

Recapitulatory, your claim as shown below is incorrect as there is no “Mars simulator” on earth as it is impossible in

general to “simulate” a planet.

Whether you disagree or not with the terminology used to describe MARTE as a Mars simulator by its inventors, NASA and various authors is really beside the point. It is not false or misleading. It is what it is.

I said quite clearly...

...MARTE isnt designed as a growth simulator....

...Who knows how far away a fully interactive Martian growth simulator is from being realised...

And further along...

...Perhaps future simulators could make it possible to environmentally engineer any number of plant species for any potential host planets or moon...

You sum up MARTE very well. The point I thought I made clear but again I quote myself...

Combined, there exists on Earth an entire worldwide industry dedicated to the simulation of Mars at some fantastic level.

Your observation that it is impossible in general to simulate a planet on Earth probably wont win you a nobel prize however I agree in principle that gravity and cosmic radiation are limiting factors within the current MARTE simulator but it is a work in progress.

Again, a Mars growth simulator you currently imagine as science fiction, can be built, for a few dollars more on Earth. 1/3g will not be the determining factor on the outcome of a plants success, the key is to understand all the environmental hazzards which might impact on a plant so that a liveable habitat can be effectively designed to protect the fragile life form.

There was no need to send man to the moon before we sent man to the moon. The experiments and simulations on Earth were key to our astronauts survival.

Likewise the same can be said of plants growing on Mars.

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Whether you disagree or not with the terminology used to describe MARTE as a Mars simulator by its inventors, NASA and

various authors is really beside the point. It is not false or misleading. It is what it is.

Again, we do not have a Mars simulator as it is not possible to simulate a planet and the wording is misleading. You by yourself

are giving a good example that it is missleading as you are claiming that the experiment to be performed on Mars can be be

performed on earth providing the same results as on Mars, and that`s wrong.

Your observation that it is impossible in general to simulate a

planet on Earth probably wont win you a nobel prize however I agree in principle that gravity and cosmic radiation are limiting

factors within the current MARTE simulator but it is a work in progress.

Did I understood you correctly here that you are in the opinion that there is a development in process that will allow to simiuate

a G value <1 on earth constant for a time period of, lets say, 10 days?

Again, a Mars growth simulator you currently imagine as science fiction, can be built, for a few dollars more on Earth.

Again, no, as we cannot simulate a G force <1 constant on earth for the time period that is required to monitor the growth of

plants.

1/3g will not be the determining factor on the outcome of a

plants success, the key is to understand all the environmental hazzards which might impact on a plant so that a liveable habitat

can be effectively designed to protect the fragile life form.

On what base of scientific education, yours, you think you are able to judge that a different G factor will not be of influence?

"Will not be" is not how science works, you should try to understand this reality.

There was no need to send man to the moon before we sent man

to the moon. The experiments and simulations on Earth were key to our astronauts survival. Likewise the same can be said of plants

growing on Mars.

This is a driveling comparison. The manned Moon missions were not performed to investigate if human life forms are able to grow

and to be cultured on the moon to be used as food for other humans on future mission.

It seems that one of the factors that you are thinking the experiments can/should be performed on earth is money, means it will be

cheaper here on on earth. Did you understood that the MPX experiment is just one of the experiments that will be performed on

that mission? And that it is a low-cost experiment by using a CubeSat?

You migh be of a creative mind in general, and thats a benefit I would say, but you still not have found the staircase to logic and

scientific research principles, so its not a mystery that the project as planned is still a mistery to you:

Why anyone would go to all that bother when the experiment can be performed within a Mars simulator right here on Earth is a

mystery.

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Posted (edited)

Again, we do not have a Mars simulator as it is not possible to simulate a planet and the wording is misleading. You by yourself

are giving a good example that it is missleading as you are claiming that the experiment to be performed on Mars can be be

performed on earth providing the same results as on Mars, and that`s wrong.

I think 1/2 your battle is correctly grasping the concept / definition of 'simulator" and the other 1/2 of your battle is in understanding yourself. So here is a quizz.

Q1.What planets environment is MARTE trying to simulate? ( if your answer is Mars proceed to Q3)

Q2.If MARTE is not a Mars simulator then what is it?

Q3.Have you ever heard of the Mars Simulation Facility Laboratory (MSF Lab) right here on Earth?

The MSF-Lab, established in 2004, is part of the Department of Experimental Planetary Physics and is used for different ASTROBIOLOGICAL and physical experiments to SIMULATE the key environmental conditions like pressure, temperature, radiation, gas composition, and primarily also the diurnally varying atmospheric humidity in a range from earth conditions to similar to those at the near-surface atmosphere of MARTIAN mid- and low latitudes. A further part of the laboratory are tests with gas, humidity and temperature sensors and the development of trace humidity sensors for space and industrial applications. In the following table, the MSF measurement categories and controllable parameters are summarized.

Here is the contact information from the link incase you would like to voice your disapproval at the use of the 'S' word.

Jean Pierre Paul de Vera

German Aerospace Center

Institute of Planetary Research, Experimental Planetary Physics

Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 67055-309

Fax: +49 30 67055-303

Please take a peek inside the facility...

http://www.dlr.de/pf/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-178/327_read-37506/

In particular I recommend you read this particular piece of outstanding research from earlier this year.

...The mere feat of surviving temperatures as low as -51 degrees C and enduring a radiation bombardment during a 34-day experiment might seem like an accomplishment by itself. But the lichen, a symbiotic mass of fungi and algae, also proved it could adapt physiologically to living a normal life in such harsh Martian conditions — as long as the lichen lived under "protected" conditions shielded from much of the radiation within "micro-niches" such as cracks in the Martian soil or rocks.

"There were no studies on adaptation to Martian conditions before," said Jean-Pierre de Vera, a scientist at the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, Germany. "Adaptation is very important to be investigated, because it tells you more about the interactions of life in relation to its environment."

Previous Mars simulation experiments focused on simply measuring the survival of organisms at the end of a given time period. By contrast, de Vera and his group of German and U.S. colleagues measured the lichen’s activities throughout the experiment that was detailed in the Sept. issue of the journal Planetary and Space Science. They wanted to see whether the lichen had continued its normal activities rather than simply clinging to life in a dormant state.

Two groups of lichen samples were placed inside a Mars simulation chamber about the size of a big pressure cooker, which itself sat within a fridge about the size of an armoire. That allowed researchers to simulate almost everything about Martian conditions such as atmospheric chemistry, pressure, temperatures, humidity and solar radiation — the lone exceptions being Martian gravity and the added contribution of galactic radiation.

- See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/origins/extreme-life/lichen-on-mars/#sthash.Ud6G3pkg.dpuf

Did I understood you correctly here that you are in the opinion that there is a development in process that will allow to simiuate

a G value <1 on earth constant for a time period of, lets say, 10 days?

Again, no, as we cannot simulate a G force <1 constant on earth for the time period that is required to monitor the growth of

plants.

A more sensible idea to test effects of diminished gravity on plants might be to utilise the moon.

However the obvious place to reproduce the pull of Martian gravity is within an artificial chamber rotating in Earth orbit. Like the abandoned Mars Gravity Biosatellite project.

...The Mars Gravity Biosatellite program began in 2001 as a Mars Society initiative called Translife that grew out of a discussion between Robert Zubrin and Elon Musk. It was intended to study the effects of Mars-level gravity, about one-third that of Earth on mammals, for which no data was available...

The mission was planned to carry 15 mice in low Earth orbit for five weeks. The satellite was designed to spin at approximately 32 rpm to generate centrifugal force simulating gravity that astronauts would experience on the surface of Mars. At the end of its mission, the satellite would reenter Earth's atmosphere and its cargo of mice would be retrieved... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Gravity_Biosatellite

There is a no reason why this idea cant be adapted for the purpose of plant growth, however it would be a waste of time and money to pursue when science has already established beyond doubt that gravity is not even essential for plants to grow. This is based on experiments performed on the ISS. You will find I have already linked to these experiments in a previous post. Scientists obviously have a lot more confidence than you in accepting these results as true.

On what base of scientific education, yours, you think you are able to judge that a different G factor will not be of influence?

"Will not be" is not how science works, you should try to understand this reality.

Gravity does not affect a plants notion of up or down, how often do I got to say this? Plants under controlled conditions can grow on Mars. A plant will stay grounded on Mars in 1/3g as it is proven to stay grounded in zero g. Would you please share your evidence to the contrary?

A plant will naturally adapt to environmental extremes. Here is a brief but interesting video to watch regarding the simulation of plant growth in simulated Martian soils

http://www.space.com/24440-mock-mars-mission-video-terraforming-mars-marscrew134.html

This is a driveling comparison. The manned Moon missions were not performed to investigate if human life forms are able to grow

and to be cultured on the moon to be used as food for other humans on future mission.

:clap: Whether you like to admit it or not there is an incredibly extensive field of research dedicated to the simulation of Mars on Earth.

Here is a list of other test facilities dedicated to the simulation of planetary conditions...

http://www.europlanet-idis.fi/index.php?id=201

It seems that one of the factors that you are thinking the experiments can/should be performed on earth is money, means it will be

cheaper here on on earth. Did you understood that the MPX experiment is just one of the experiments that will be performed on

that mission? And that it is a low-cost experiment by using a CubeSat?

You migh be of a creative mind in general, and thats a benefit I would say, but you still not have found the staircase to logic and

scientific research principles, so its not a mystery that the project as planned is still a mistery to you:

Who said there is no substitute for the real thing, but a simulation can be the next best thing.

Edited by taniwha

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Posted (edited)

Q1.What planets environment is MARTE trying to simulate? ( if your answer is Mars proceed to Q3)

Q2.If MARTE is not a Mars simulator then what is it?

Q3.Have you ever heard of the Mars Simulation Facility Laboratory (MSF Lab) right here on Earth?

Again, MARTE cannot simulate MARS cosmic radiation and gravitation values so it does not "simulate" Mars,

it simulates some parts of the Mars environment.

A more sensible idea to test effects of diminished

gravity on plants might be to utilise the moon.

So the gravitation of 1/3g on Mars will not be simulated on earth as you claimed to be possible.

However the obvious place to reproduce the pull of Martian gravity is within an artificial chamber rotating in Earth orbit.

Like the abandoned Mars Gravity Biosatellite project.

So the gravitation of 1/3g on Mars will not be simulated on earth as you claimed to be possible.

There is a no reason why this idea cant be adapted for

the purpose of plant growth, however it would be a waste of time and money to pursue when science has already established

beyond doubt that gravity is not even essential for plants to grow.

To do not use the option, that is given, to test plant growth direct on Mars with the target to investigate the options to feed ppl

there by farming plants, would be grossly negligent and stupid. Fortunately the responsible project managers act based on scientific

logic and not on guesses.

This is based on experiments performed on the ISS. You will find

I have already linked to these experiments in a previous post. Scientists obviously have a lot more confidence than you in accepting

these results as true.

Two of the experiments you are talking about were the ESA WAICO-I and WAICO-II (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at

Different g-levels) experiments, conducted on the ISS1. I by myself was the responsible project manager (plus for approx 35 other

ISS1 mission related ones) for the earth related logistic of the samples including sample temperature controll management and

in-time logistic Europe/US KSC+US/Europe. During the 3 month of preparation for this project I was involved in meetings and telcons

with ESA+NASA ground logistic departments and ISS support departments and the experiment responsible scientists, including the

principle investigator for WAICO who is based in Germany, uncounted times. As I`m general interessted in that matter and based on the

fact that all scientists around these experiments are always very open to answer question from an outsider, I would say that my level of

knowledge about this matter is a very good one as I got a lot of informations from the first hand possible. And for your information, the

WAICO experiments were not conducted to investgate the growth of plants on a foreign planet.

Gravity does not affect a plants notion of up or down, how often do I

got to say this? Plants under controlled conditions can grow on Mars. A plant will stay grounded on Mars in 1/3g as it is proven to stay

grounded in zero g. Would you please share your evidence to the contrary?

I will not answer this question as the full set of Mars enviromental conditions cannot be simulated on earth and in its orbit. And to

investigate the matter, the full set is required and thats only possible on Mars. Your whole hypothesis get sunk by 2 missing

key characteristics that cannot be simulated on earth, respectively not simulated in a quality that is adequate to the real conditions on

Mars. With the mission we have the option to conduct the experiment on Mars, where is your problem to do so?

Edited by toast

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Again, MARTE cannot simulate MARS cosmic radiation and gravitation values so it does not "simulate" Mars,

it simulates some parts of the Mars environment.

Undermining the name given to these facilities, simply undermines the science behind it. The question as to what will happen to a seed growing on Mars is already known. Its simply been figured out using logic and a mass of other experiments. We know what happens in zero g, we know what happens in 1g. On Mars things happen at a rate of 1/3g. Its all clearly been worked out before 2021. You keep arguing this point

So the gravitation of 1/3g on Mars will not be simulated on earth as you claimed to be possible.

Your claim not mine. I say no such thing. You keep repeating this.

To do not use the option, that is given, to test plant growth direct on Mars with the target to investigate the options to feed ppl

there by farming plants, would be grossly negligent and stupid. Fortunately the responsible project managers act based on scientific

logic and not on guesses.

Two of the experiments you are talking about were the ESA WAICO-I and WAICO-II (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at

Different g-levels) experiments, conducted on the ISS1. I by myself was the responsible project manager (plus for approx 35 other

ISS1 mission related ones) for the earth related logistic of the samples including sample temperature controll management and

in-time logistic Europe/US KSC+US/Europe. During the 3 month of preparation for this project I was involved in meetings and telcons

with ESA+NASA ground logistic departments and ISS support departments and the experiment responsible scientists, including the

principle investigator for WAICO who is based in Germany, uncounted times. As I`m general interessted in that matter and based on the

fact that all scientists around these experiments are always very open to answer question from an outsider, I would say that my level of

knowledge about this matter is a very good one as I got a lot of informations from the first hand possible. And for your information, the

WAICO experiments were not conducted to investgate the growth of plants on a foreign planet.

I will not answer this question as the full set of Mars enviromental conditions cannot be simulated on earth and in its orbit. And to

investigate the matter, the full set is required and thats only possible on Mars. Your whole hypothesis get sunk by 2 missing

key characteristics that cannot be simulated on earth, respectively not simulated in a quality that is adequate to the real conditions on

Mars. With the mission we have the option to conduct the experiment on Mars, where is your problem to do so?

I agree that man needs to be able to grow a food source to have a colony.

We know plants can grow there. People would go to Mars tomorrow if they could. All does not hinge on a cheap seed experiment in 2021.

There is not much of a future in the consumption of synthetic rice so protecting the plants would be a challenge of great importance.

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