Gee – I wonder where they got this idea. If you’ve seen the movie, The Martian, you obviously know!
With dangerous amounts of radiation, a thin atmosphere and frigid temperatures, the first people to land on Mars will have a fight on their hands to survive. And if we do figure out how to endure these harsh conditions, what will we do when dinner time rolls around? To explore ways these pioneers might be able to live off the land, scientists have been trying to grow potatoes on Earth in Mars-like conditions. The early results are now in and are described as positive.
Dubbed the Potatoes on Mars Project, the initiative was kicked off by the International Potato Center (CIP) last February. Yes, there is an international center for potatoes, as there should be. CIP teamed up with NASA and grabbed soil from the Pampas de La Joya Desert in southern Peru, which it describes as very dry and the most Mars-like soil found on Earth.