Research update: Latest indicators show potatoes can indeed grow on Mars

The International Potato Center (CIP) launched a series of experiments to discover if potatoes can grow under Mars atmospheric conditions and thereby prove they are also able to grow in extreme climates on Earth. This Phase Two effort of CIP’s proof of concept experiment to grow potatoes in simulated Martian conditions began on February 14, 2016 when a tuber was planted in a specially constructed CubeSat contained environment built by engineers from University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, based upon designs and advice provided by NASA, California.  Preliminary results are positive. A special potato was placed inside a sealed container that simulates Mars temperature, air pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The results so far are positive; cameras inside the canister show sprouts (see picture above). This is the second phase of the Potatoes on Mars project, which aims to figure out which extreme conditions the hardy tuber can thrive in. If they can grow on Mars, surely they can survive in areas here on Earth that have been devastated by climate change. More