Before we can think of going to Mars, it first must be thoroughly accepted that we do so safely through studies, research, dirt samples, oxygen capability, aspects of travel, and whatever else we would require to exist there with the comforts of home. And with the latest information that has hit the media world hard about the soil on Mars considered superb for growing asparagus, this may be around the corner for many of us “hopefuls”.
Recently announced by NASA regarding the NASA Phoenix mission’s latest soil analysis on the red planet is the new find that many areas of Earth are similar to those on Mars. The catcher with all this scuttle? Good soil or not, asparagus on Mars will never have a shot at growth, as strong winds have almost destroyed asparagus on Earth over the years-and we all know about the famous Martian winds! Asparagus growers fight a losing battle on Earth in many agricultural areas, attempting to combat soil loss on the plains when the plants are newly planted, using strip cropping methods to deter the massive winds. Where does that leave us on Mars? With lots more planning and developing new ideas, that’s what.
The soil on Mars is now considered the same as in our own Earth backyards, with NASA scientists “flabbergasted” at the recent Mars’s soil results from the Robotic Arm’s sample placed in one of the ovens. “We basically have found what appear to be the requirements of the nutrients to support life, past, present or future,” said Professor Samuel Kounaves of Tufts University, the project’s lead chemist, told reporters in a telephone conference.
The soil requirements found on Mars are less acidity than NASA expected, containing minerals including magnesium, potassium, and sodium with a possibility of other species not yet found in the analysis. If a greenhouse were built strong enough to withstand the Martian weather, plants that do not like acid would grow wellasparagus, turnips, green beans, or even chemical loving bacteria. Meanwhile, the blueberries or strawberries would not fare as well as they are considered acid-loving crops. Unfortunately, no organic carbon has yet been discovered, a necessary building block but traces of water vapor has.
One of the Phoenix mission scientists is known to have said that [Mars] soil “clearly has interacted with water in the past.” Meanwhile, another one jumped up and down when the soil levels were at 8 to 9, instead of the 1 that was expectednot for life survival. The internet is full of the good news is “that the results of both the TEGA and MECA tests have shown our scientists that it’s possible Mars may indeed have hosted, or be hosting, some form of life. ‘Over time I’ve come to the conclusion that the amazing thing about Mars is not that it’s an alien world but that it’s actually very Earth-like,’ Kounaves said.”