Saturday, June 28, 2008

Asparagus on Mars

Mars probe Phoenix has analysed a sample of Mars soil and found the pH good enough to grow vegetables in:
“We have found what appear to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life whether past, present or future,” said Samuel Kounaves of Tufts University near Boston. “The sort of soil you have there is the type of soil you’d probably have in your back yard.”

The pH level of the sample was somewhere between 8 and 9, with 7 considered neutral. This would seem perfect for growing asparagus and other vegetables, such as green beans, that do not do well with acidity. This does not mean that dropping seeds now would produce a vegetable patch, given everything else about the planet’s environment, including, of course, the lack of water.