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No Couch Potatoes Here: NASA to Grow Potatoes on Mars

© SHEE ProjectA self-deployable habitat can save crews valuable time in setting up quarters on faraway locales like Mars.
A self-deployable habitat can save crews valuable time in setting up quarters on faraway locales like Mars. - Sputnik International
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When one thinks about the surface of Mars images of red craters, desert valleys and the complete absence of water come to mind; but prepare to drop your prejudice folks, because NASA announced they plan to grow potatoes on the Red Planet, according to the science news website Phys.org.

No, this isn't a joke. NASA will work together with the International Potato Center [yes, this organization exists and it's based in Peru of all places] and try to make potatoes grow on Mars.

Mars and the Sun - Sputnik International
NASA: Life May Survive on Mars in Water Beneath Surface
NASA's plan is to simulate atmospheric and climatic conditions on Mars. Researchers would use the soil from Peru's Pampas de La Joya Desert and increase levels of carbon dioxide, the source said.

Apart from a Mars-like environment, researchers would need to use some advanced fertilizers to help potatoes grow on the Martian soil.

Furthermore, scientists are working on cultivating more drought-resistant potatoes, which is great, because even if the experiment fails on Mars, the research would still be very beneficial on Earth, so people could grow potatoes in arid places across the world.    

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