Potatoes on Mars: Should we thank Matt Damon, NASA or both?

What if I tell you that when we move to Mars, we will be able to enjoy french fries? I know some hate change and might be frightened about life on another planet, but the Potatoes on Mars project could be the most appealing part of starting again in outer space and feeling at home while having potato chips on a space adventure, yummy!

It Happens in Real Life, Happens in TNT!

Remember when Matt Damon discovered he could grow potatoes on Mars a couple of years ago? Although it was only a sci-fi film, The Martian, nowadays NASA and the International Potato Center (CIP) —which is a real place located in Peru— got inspired about it and did find the ‘right’ potato, the one which may easily grow on our neighbor planet.

Of course the method is quite different. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you do not need to use fecal matter as a fertilizer. The mechanics are quite traditional. The problem is that Mars is, well… Uninhabitable.

[MORE: Is it possible to inhabit and terraform Mars?]

Potatoes on Mars: are Martian-Fries edible?

So in principle, we must give thanks to the head scientist Julio Valdivia-Silva, one that is responsible for the experiment and might let humans carry with them one of Earth’s favorite plates —And maybe baptize it as the national Mars food, ha!

On a first phase, it was only possible to grow a potato-fed with nutrient-rich water inside a hermetic urn —called CubeSat, and you can see on live stream— where the Andean tubercle was subjected to extreme conditions, similar to those of the Red Planet. What is next? To test the biologic limits, exposing potatoes more and more to the conditions of a Martian environment with elements such as radiation.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE3b7Oe_kys[/embedyt]

Hint: the only thing scientists mentioned of the flavor is that the space potatoes will be more salty and dry than the usuals.

The Peruvian Potato Against Climate Change

Whereas some scientists are concerned about life on other planets, some other experts are also ashore, literally, concerned about global warming and caring about the only house we have at the moment.

So regardless of its implications for future missions to Mars, the experiment has already provided good news about the potato’s potential to help people survive in extreme environments on Earth.

So who’d say potatoes would be so versatile? In addition to supporting the possible NASA astronaut feeding on the Red Planet Expeditions, it allows us to take a step further to ensure food security on Earth in the midst of climate change.

Potatoes and Robots Before Humans on Mars?

With the results of the Potatoes on Mars research, chips are getting closer to colonizing Mars in partnership with robots and 3D Printers. Together these machines can work on building basic infrastructures such as landing pads, roads, radiation protection walls, hangars, and some fields with plantations of potatoes, thus finally human habitats can follow.

It seems the curious human mind is really about to achieve the goal of discovering what there is outside, and fortunately, the destiny is continuously revealing the map and the path to follow.

Some years ago it was a hullabaloo that man were trampling and jumping the moon. Now, we have not only Mars but plenty of options for future ecosystems, like the recent 7 Earth-size planets found, where three of them are ideal places to house oceans of liquid water, a key ingredient for life as it’s known on our terrestrial land.

[MORE: Who can really tell us how to colonize Mars?]