Czech scientists grow plants for cultivation on Mars using aeroponics

01-11-2019

Czech scientists have opened a lab to experiment growing food under extreme conditions and in environments lacking water – such as Mars, Reuters reports.

The “Marsonaut” experiment by 29-year-old scientist Jan Lukačevič and his team at the University of Life Sciences in Prague is based on aeroponics — growing plants in the air, without soil, and limiting water use to a minimum.

Using aeroponics, plants grow horizontally from a vertical unit and are stacked one above the other in order to minimise space.

Lukačevič told Reuters his team has already succeeded in growing mustard plants, salad leaves, radishes and herbs, such as basil and mint.

The main benefit of aeroponics is that it uses 95 percent less water than normal plant cultivation and saves space, which could boost agricultural yields in areas hit by climate change and urbanisation.