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What to Eat When on Mars? Researchers Have Already Planned it All

A study “Feeding One Million People on Mars” by Kevin M Cannon and Daniel T. Britt, published by Mary Ann Liebert publications, discusses the same.

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Updated:September 27, 2019, 2:25 PM IST
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What to Eat When on Mars? Researchers Have Already Planned it All
Still from the film "The Martian' where Matt Damon can be seen growing potatoes on Mars | Image credit:

After SpaceX chief Elon Musk announced his plans to establish a colony on Mars by the end of the century, one question must have surely popped in everybody’s minds. “Living in Mars is a cool and all but what will be there to eat?”

A study “Feeding One Million People on Mars” by Kevin M Cannon and Daniel T. Britt, published by Mary Ann Liebert publications, discusses the same.

It talks about SpaceX’ plan elaborately: SpaceX campaign calls for: (1) an initial crew of 12 people; (2) multiple ships of 100–200 passengers sent at every 26-month launch opportunity; and (3) an eventual population of 1 million living on the planet within 50–100 Earth years. By providing a transportation backbone, SpaceX hopes to stimulate corporations and private individuals to move to Mars and take up development projects to support a growing settlement.

Researchers said that Mars’s atmosphere is not conducive to raising livestock, meaning humans would need to rely on advanced food technologies and alternative sources of protein if they wish to follow a non-vegan diet. Meat, fish, milk, and eggs could very well appear on the Martian table, though they’d have to be grown in bioreactors from cells that have been imported from earth.

Not just this, the researchers also believe that there is possibility that the plants which grow on Earth can also be grown with hydroponics there on Mars. The plants which can be cultivated need to be grown indoors so that it’s possible to control the light and the atmosphere. Researchers also said that the plants which require very little water for its cultivation and produce a high yield will be favourable.

Now, there is almost 100 years left for SpaceX’ mission to actually become a reality. Nonetheless, if you can’t wait to taste the food which will be made available on the Red Planet, you can start eating like a Martian soon! A century away mission should not stop one to know more about the food planning for it.

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