Earthworms Born in Mars Soil- Will farming Be Possible on Mars?

Scientists have found evidence that farming could be possible on Mars.

Scientists have found evidence that farming could be possible on Mars.

The possible prospect of farming on Mars is not as far away as people may think. Newsweek reported that, “Worms have been born in a Mars soil stimulant for the first time, bringing the prospect of farming on the Red Planet a step closer to reality”.  According to Science Alert, a popular science website,  “The manure stimulated growth, especially in the Mars soil, and we saw that the worms were active,” With this new discovery, scientists are working to figure out of farming would be possible on Mars.

While the soil itself is not from the surface of the Red Planet scientists were able to recreate the soil. Science Alert also reported that by “using simulated Mars soil developed by NASA, researchers added rucola (also known as rocket or arugula) plants, manure fertilizer and earthworms – and found that not only did the worms thrive, but they’ve now produced their first offspring”.

According to Science Alert “this soil stimulant can be used to figure out how the soil and dust on Mars will affect things like robotic rovers, mining equipment, and space suits. For the last few years, researchers have also been looking into whether plants can be coaxed to live in the material”. This proves that the colonization of Mars could be possible.

India News reported that, “As earthworms are primarily born to healthy soil on Earth, their reproductive success could be integral to agricultural sustainability on Mars-good news for Elon Musk, who recently announced a plan to colonize the red planet by 2022”.  According to Newsweek, “This experiment is part of the crowdfunded Food for Mars and Moon project which has been attempting to cultivate crops in Mars-like and moon-like soil since 2013”. With this new development, the prospect of Mars sustaining life is very promising.

India News reported that the only complications that this experiment produced was that “the major drawback of the research is the absence of perchlorate – a toxic chemical compound found on Mars. In addition, the lower gravity found on Mars cannot be replicated in laboratory conditions”. While these factors could drastically effect the soil on Mars the entire prospect of being able to create farming products on the Red Planet is what drives the scientists to find an solution to this problem.

The only question that remains is whether or not the food will be safe to eat. Scientists don’t know the answer to this question yet, but with the ongoing experiments on the simulated soil this question will hopefully be answered soon. For now, just the idea that farming on Mars could be possible in the near future keeps scientists vigorously searching for more answers.