Will humanity be able to grow plants on Mars in greenhouses, scientists answered
The results of the experiment were not very encouraging.
Humanity will sooner or later reach Mars. It is likely that a base or colony will appear on the surface of the Red Planet in the coming decades. And the question of nutrition of people will arise. But whether it is possible to grow plants there using ordinary greenhouses, Chronicle.info reports with reference to Channel 24.
Scientific research aimed to determine whether it is possible to use the energy of the Sun on Mars to grow edible plants. That is, the possibility of building ordinary greenhouses on the surface of the Red Planet, which would have a transparent roof and walls, was considered. The results of the experiment were not very encouraging.
Results of the radiation experiment
It would seem that there is nothing to talk about – radiation kills. But scientists lacked experimental data to estimate the level of radiation exposure in Martian conditions. Moreover, there was no data on the effect of radiation on certain types of plants.
The researchers used cobalt-60 to simulate gamma radiation in Martian conditions. On the Red Planet, radiation is 17 times more powerful than on Earth. 5 sources of gamma radiation were placed above the rows of plants in order to exclude a large radiation effect on any individual plant or group of plants. The experiment lasted 28 days.
The result, as scientists say, was expected. The yield was much worse than that of the control group, which was not exposed to radiation.
I always expected that radiation would have a negative effect on plant growth. But this was not well researched, so we needed to confirm that this expectation was correct,
– says one of the authors of the study, Wieger Wamelinck.
The experiment showed that Mars cannot count on direct solar rays, because gamma radiation alone can strongly suppress plant growth. And besides gamma radiation, there are other types of radiation: alpha, beta, X-rays, high-energy protons, neutrons and heavy charged particles.