Scientists led by the Georgian Space Research Agency recently announced that they are figuring out how to grow grapes on the Red Planet ‘Mars’ and eventually build up the first winery there.
“Georgians were the first winemakers on Earth and now we hope to pioneer viticulture on the planet next door,” said Nikoloz Doborjginidze who co-founded a project.
The plan is to actually develop a technique that could let future Martian farmers to grow all sorts of crops on the planet, which will prove to be a vital step to sustainable off-world settlements.
“In the distant future, Martian colonists will be able to grow plants directly in Martian soil,” said Tusia Garibashvili, founder of a company called Space Farms that’s also working on the research.
The team discovered a way to use a specific kind of bacteria from sulfurous springs to convert Martian soil into nutrient-rich dirt in which grapes or other plants can grow.
The scientists also said that the grape best suited to Mars’ extreme ultraviolet radiation was the ‘Rkatsiteli grape’ that produces white wine.
Moreover, the scientists are also building a lab to simulate Mars. However, they believe that even if the bacteria and grapes didn’t make it to Mars, their research will do good to people.
“Martian dreams aside, our experiments are providing information that is vital as humanity confronts a multitude of environmental challenges,” said scientist Nino Enukidze.
“We will be able to identify and breed food crops resistant to the problems caused by global climate change.”