The Martian: Is it really possible to grow potatoes on Mars? What does science say

The Martian: Is it really possible to grow potatoes on Mars?  What does science say

In the film starring Matt Damon, the protagonist manages to survive by growing potatoes on Mars: here’s what science says about it

“Mars – Survivor” It is a 2015 film in which the protagonist Matt Damon is left for dead by his crewmates after a mission to Mars. The astronaut is left alone on the red planet and must therefore try to survive until help arrives. In short, a kind of modern-day Robinson Crusoe.

Mars science

One of the scenes Highlight From the film it was captured From the book by Andy Weir It is a fact that the protagonist has to eat on Mars in order to survive. Since he doesn’t know when they will come to take him back, he must be able to produce food and thus grow potatoes. But the problem is that There is no arable soil on Mars: The soil of Mars is not like the soil of Earth. As far as we know, Mars has very hostile soil, with a certain chemistry which is actually a lot Not suitable In the presence of organic compounds.

American actor Matt Damon In a scene from the movie “Survivor – The Martian”. Credit: 20th Century Fox

In other words, all the bacteria that help plants grow on Earth don’t exist in Martian soil. In the film, the protagonist uses some Earth that astronauts for some reason brought to the Red Planet, thus More suitable terrain To be planted. The other thing we know is that the astronaut uses Natural fertilizer To make the land suitable for cultivation (excrement) and thus enable him to manage his affairs.

Obviously it needs seeds: they are also brought from the ground. This is a narrative device used in both the book and the film. Among other things, the protagonist He’s a botanista scientist who knows exactly what he is doing, as well as an astronaut, and therefore a trained person who knows how to handle situations of this kind very well.

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In short, potato cultivation is one aspect that is taken into consideration Completely realisticEither in the book or in the movie. However, the reality is very different and it will be interesting to understand how humans will be able to spend long periods on Mars in a sustainable way in the future.

References: YouTube/Amadeo Balbi


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