When the first colonists go to Mars, they will not have to carry the food with them, it will be enough to take the seeds that were bred in the city of Limerick in Ireland.
The local newspaper Limerick Post reported about the project of Irish scientists.
According to the publication, in the coming days the products of long-term research of breeders from the Technological University of Limerick will go to the Antarctic station. There, in conditions as close as possible to the Martian (the temperature on Mars drops to minus 40 Celsius), the seeds, and then the seedlings have to undergo tests. The next stage will be their experimental cultivation at the International Space Station. A set of 15 crops participating in the project includes tomatoes, cucumbers, three varieties of lettuce, pepper, radish, spinach, strawberries and aromatic herbs.
“We were faced with the task of growing plants that can not only live and bear fruit under extreme conditions,” says Michele McKeon Bennett, leader of the Limerick scientific group, “We worked to ensure that these cultures had all their flavor and nutritional characteristics.” According to McKeon Bennett, an additional unique feature of these plants is that their life cycle is designed to exist in extremely resource-limited conditions. Water, air, fertilizers and electricity – all this is done by repeated processing inside a completely closed laboratory-container.
The edition specifies that these developments are part of a major international EDEN ISS project, in which 14 leading universities from Europe, the USA and Canada participate.