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Can we grow plants on Mars and the Moon?
We investigate if it is possible to grow crops on Mars and moon soil simulants delivered by NASA. When people will got to Mars and go back to the moon it will most likely be for a longer period or even for ever. One of the necessities for such a ‘colony’ is the supply of sufficient and healthy food. One of the options is to grow your own food using the soil and water (ice) that is present.
Since 2013 we are experimenting with the soils and a range of crops, including tomato, potato, green beans, peas and rocket (rucola). We were able to grow crops on both the Mars and moon soil simulant. After testing the vegetables and fruits proofed to be safe to eat, no large quantities of heavy metals, present in the soils, were found.
This research received the science award of the children’s program ‘Het Klokhuis’ in 2016.