It seems that Matt Damon was right in The Martian movie as we can grow potatoes on Mars.
This was discovered after a team of researchers introduced a special potato in a sealed tank simulating the conditions on Mars ( temperature, air pressure, oxygen level and carbon dioxide ). The results are, so far, positive, and the cameras inside the tank already shows the potato is starting to grow.
The experiment is taking place inside a CubeStat, a small and modular satellite that can be isolated against contamination risks. This is why it allows researchers to create an environment similar to the one on Mars without actually traveling to Mars.
“If the crop can tolerate the conditions we crated which are similar to those on Mars, then they have a pretty high chance of growing on Mars. We’ll conduct many experiments to realize which potato species are more suitable” Julia Valdivia-Silvia says, one of the researchers.
Although it was rumored for a long time that potatoes and other plants can grow on Mars, everything depends on the possibility of removing perchlorates from the soil. Only then researchers will deal with an environment similar to Earth and would allow for crops to grow.
The potato has an incredible genetic ability to adapt itself to extreme conditions, which was proven by a previous experiment.
Because of the potato’s high calories number, the plant is vital in order to colonize Mars. Getting a large number of calories by using a small growing space is essential.
Moreover, the experiment shows that if these plants can survive an extreme climate such as the one on Mars, then they can be cultivated everywhere on Earth.