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Researchers grow plants on alien materials

Posted on Tuesday, 17 June, 2014 | Comment icon 6 comments

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)

Tags: Astroecology, Plants

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado on 17 June, 2014, 11:25
Good luck, professor!
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 17 June, 2014, 14:44
Where is the prof getting all of his meteorite materials from? Can he be sure that the integrity of his samples haven't been compromised? Getting some asteroid chunks from Space and bringing them back and controlling the environment should be the next step. I guess we'll have to wait a long time for that.
Comment icon #3 Posted by spud the mackem on 17 June, 2014, 15:06
In order to grow plants on Alien materials they would have to be in an Alien Environment, they are not in an Alien environment if they are surrounded by an Earth atmosphere, using air and water, because the air and water on Earth will be different than the air and water on another planet. Try again to convince me.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Silent Trinity on 17 June, 2014, 15:39
Well it is a step in the right direction at least although I don't think it is an entirely ALIEN grown plant due to the fact that this is obviously on the Earth. I think it at least goes some way towards proving that plant life can flourish on other worlds with differing variables to our own, thereby adding a small footnote to the possibility of life on other worlds. Good work nonetheless!
Comment icon #5 Posted by mickeymudge on 17 June, 2014, 18:37
Well, how in the heck do you think God did it? I'm not sure where I stand as far as the creation of this planet, but I did hear from one source that it's possible that Water from Mars was sent over to this planet, whether or not this planet had water already I don't know. But it does make you wonder. All of the life here, including us, is certainly not indigenous. Check out my website: http:// LOOK itsthetooth LOOK .wix. LOOK /intervention LOOK
Comment icon #6 Posted by maximusnow on 17 June, 2014, 19:01
I am a geniuse too, I am as claim as you smart you are!

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