Feeds

NASA to grow Brit strawberries on Mars

Cream of UK horticulture

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A Kent-based farmer is working with NASA to develop strawberries that could make it to Mars. The space agency is looking for something astronauts could grow on the two-year flight to the Red Planet, and that could also be cultivated on Mars itself.

Peter Vinson, the Faversham, Kent strawberry baron, sent two of his strawberry breeds to NASA for tests after a friend recommended him to researchers there. The scientists need a plant that will be able to withstand the harsh environment of space, and that will produce plenty of fruit for a long time.

Growing anything on Mars is certainly going to be a challenge. Once on the surface, the plant will have to manage with about one third of the sunlight it would get on Earth, and a higher proportion of that will be ultraviolet light. Blue light, needed for photosynthesis, is more readily absorbed by the Martian atmosphere.

NASA scientists are keen to use an English breed because it will be more accustomed to low light levels than those from California or Florida. If the breeds do well in a simulation at Cape Canaveral, they will move on to trials on board a manned space station before use in the mission to Mars, penciled in for 2020.

Hilariously, the fruit has already been nicknamed the 'Marsberry'. ®

Related stories

Scrap space robots, government urged
ESA commissions super spacesuit
Macclesfield centre of universe: official
Opportunity knocked by Martian rock
Fireflies aid hunt for ET

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.