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Research: Salad Leaves Could Safely Be Grown On Mars, Vital For Future Space Missions

New insights released on May 15 show that plant seeds which were taken to Mars and spent six months there grew only slightly slower when planted back on Earth.

Mars grown seeds viable, experiment carves way to grow plants in space

New insights released on May 15 show that plant seeds which were taken to Mars and spent six months there grew only slightly slower when planted back on Earth, raising the prospect of growing food on the red planet. According to reports, two kilograms of rocket seeds were on board the International Space Station with British European Space Agency astronaut, Time Peake. As a part of his Principia mission, the seeds were subjected to intense vibrations from the stresses and strains of space travel.

Read: Perseverance Rover To Get The Most Advanced Pair Of 'eyes' Ahead Of NASA's Mars Mission

However, upon their return to earth, nearly 6,00,000 people, children and adults in the UK planted them. In the experiment, which was supported by the UK space agency, the seeds were then monitored on their growth and compared to seeds that remained on earth.

Read: Indian-origin Girl Names NASA's First Mars Helicopter That Will Accompany The Rover

In the result, the agency found out that the seeds, though grew more slowly and were more sensitive to ageing, were still viable. The agency said that, by taking precautions sand sensible steps and by the protecting the seeds on their journey, it would be possible to grow plants in space or other planets.

'Vital for future missions' 

Speaking about the experiment, astronaut Peete said that when humans travel to Mars, they would need to find ways to feed themselves, and this experiment helps people to understand some biology of seed origin and germination which will be vital for future space missions. The research was later published in journal Life. According to reports, the study was led by Gerhard Leubner and Jake Chandler from Royal Holloway and Alistair Griffiths from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Read: Research: Salty Water Might Exist On Mars But Conditions 'preclude Life As We Know It'

Read: Experts Fear Mars Rock Samples Might Bring Alien Microbes To Earth

Image credits: Twitter/ spacegovuk

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