This place may be the last resort but it is a good place to make ketchup. Astronomers grow tomatoes in conditions like Mars (as it is here on Earth, not on Mars), and although special spices are not for sale, note that Heinz passed the test.
Why on earth do scientists grow airborne tomatoes, you may ask? This was done as part of an experiment from Aldrin Space Institute researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology, which looked at testing the potential for long-term harvesting on Mars, in contrast to long-term crop growth. The experiment also provided researchers with information on whether seeds (or similar ones) could be grown in some of the most difficult places on earth.
Researchers have grown Heinz tomato seeds in the soil of about 7,800 pounds from the Mojave Desert, which is similar to regolith (known as loose rock that sits on solid rock) on Mars. He only experimented with water and climate which was also similar to the Martian landscape. Although the temperature is about -81 degrees Fahrenheit, it can vary anywhere from -220 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit across different regions and seasons.
According to the examples seized by Phoenix River, Martian soil has pH level of 8.3, which is slightly salty. Tomatoes grow well in slightly acidic soils, with a pH of anywhere from 6.2 to 6.8. Despite these differences, however, the soil is still the same (and it has been successful in experimenting) due to the high nutrient content; contains essential nutrients for the growth of plants such as magnesium, sodium, chlorine, and potassium. The soil of the Mojave Desert is very similar to the soil of Martial, so it was perfect for testing.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time human aviation industry has been established. Rising members at the International Space Station recently grew peppers in Advanced Plant Habitat. Astronomer Megan McArthur shared the fruits of that labor on Twitter last month, with pictures of pepper on space staff tacos. We bet it was delicious!
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