Researchers from the Wageningen University the Netherlands have made three-dimensional maps highlighting various areas that would make ideal landing sites for the coming mars mission. Ecologist Wieger Wamelink and his student Line Schug combined existing data collected by the NASA as well as the Arizona State University in a computerized information system.
The result of this process is a set of animated maps with an agricultural perspective. Each of them details a certain aspect of the Red Planet, like the composition of its soil.Overall, the researchers identified not just one but multiple sites that would be suitable for human life as well as cultivating vegetation for food.
In preparation for life on Mars, Wamelink has been studying how to grow crops on soil mimicking the surface of Mars and the moon. So far, he conducted a total of three experiments from 2013 through 2016.
Despite being potted in soil with different compositions, the researcher noted that the plants grew at a similar rate as they would using regular soil from the Earth. He admits that it’s not exactly the same, but they’re “getting there.”
Under the “Food in Mars and Moon Project,” Wamelink was able to harvest tomatoes, radishes, and rye in 2015. The following year, he grew ten various crops that could sustain human colonies on Mars, including beans, peas, carrots, and potatoes.