Can plants grow on other planets ? Image Credit: NASA/KSC
The new discipline of 'astroecology' involves growing plants directly in extraterrestrial environments.
Most experiments that involve growing plants in space have typically involved growing them in as Earth-like an environment as possible aboard the space station or where the conditions on the surface of our own planet can be readily replicated.
Chemistry professor Michael Mautner however has been taking a different approach, instead opting to grow plants in materials taken from asteroids or other extraterrestrial environments.
His main goal is to be able to grow plants on other worlds without having to rely on replicating Earth's environment in order to do so.
"People have been talking about terraforming, but what Iím trying to do is give some concrete evidence that itís possible to do this, that itís possible to grow in extraterrestrial materials," he said.
"What Iíve found is that a range of microorganisms - bacteria, fungi, and even asparagus and potato plants - can survive with the nutrients that are in extraterrestrial materials."
Source: CBS Local | Comments (6)