|Czech scientists have opened a lab to experiment growing food for environments with extreme conditions and lack of water, such as Mars.|
Topics: Climate Change, Mars, NASA, Space Exploration
PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech scientists have opened a lab to experiment growing food for environments with extreme conditions and lack of water, such as Mars.
The “Marsonaut” experiment by scientist Jan Lukacevic, 29, and his team at the Prague University of Life Sciences is based on aeroponics - growing plants in the air, without soil, and limiting water use to a minimum.
The plants grow horizontally from a vertical unit and are stacked one above the other to minimize space. Researchers experiment with light and temperature changes, Lukacevic said.
The team has already succeeded in growing mustard plants, salad leaves, radishes and herbs like basil and mint.
Scientists ate their first harvest last week.
“They taste wonderful, because they grow in a controlled environment and we supply them with bespoke nutrients,” said Lukacevic.
Czech lab grows mustard plants for Mars
Reporting by Jiri Skacel; Writing by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Dan Grebler, Reuters Science