... carrots in the movie. The Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, or CEAC, is part of UA's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. But while it's good advice for those of us living on Earth to diversify our diets, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which there'd be enough room for that many different kinds of plants on any sort of space mission, even on an extended one to Mars. He fertilizes the plants with human waste and creates liquid water out of rocket fuel. And how big are the windstorms, anyway? The Martian Hydrazine Scene by Kyu Kim. "This is the first-time experiment we're doing, so we don't really know how it's going to work out," explained Jan Kreuze, who is essentially the head chef for the project at the International Potato Center -- yes, potatoes. The Martian, an American space thriller starring Matt Damon, was released in 2015 and garnered popular attention all over the world. Many of the soil are polluted by some harmful material. "They're a good producer of carbohydrates and they can be a big part of the diet.". Because of Watney's love/hate relationship with potatoes and his proud status of 'Botanist' real life person Chris Martine named a new type of bush tomato after him, the Solanum Watneyi . “When I watched that movie, I started thinking, ‘What if we could grow potatoes in outer space?’” she said. In March, NASA tested its Mars rocket for the first time. On Mars, the first is a non-issue; there's not as much gravity as there is on Earth, but there's more than enough to get plants growing in the right direction and to keep water flowing down to their roots. First, store-bought potatoes.The Martian pulls potatoes out of the Thanksgiving stash. Matt Damon's character, a botanist, learned how to grow potatoes on Mars in a contained environment, which became his main food source when he became stranded there, according to CNBC. Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) survives by fertilising Martian soil with his faeces, slicing up potatoes, and planting the cuttings in the soil. In 2015, Matt Damon reprised his role of “confused Boston actor” in the sci-fi film The Martian. Potatoes have played a starring role in one recent Hollywood film set on Mars, but it turns out growing potatoes on another planet may be far from science fiction, reports CBS … So U.S. scientists have headed to the deserts of South America to see if they can cook up a solution. But UA scientists already have figured out how to grow food on the freeze-dried planet, including sweet potatoes and strawberries — roughly 20 years ahead of Mars' "greatest botanist." Sergii Pavlov / 123rf.com. The scientists found the seeds didn't have room to breathe and the dirt was too salty. An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. (Grass being pretty hardy and easy to grow.) Albert asked. NASA and private companies are all vying to send astronauts to Mars, but when they get there, they'll all face the same problem -- growing food. They must’ve been pretty excited, then, when they saw Ridley Scott’s 2015 film The Martian, a significant chunk of which revolves around Matt Damon’s quest to grow potatoes while stranded on Mars. This article looks into whether or not you can survive eating just potatoes for the rest of your life Kreuze thinks potatoes have "the right stuff" to grow on the inhospitable Martian surface. There’s just one problem that Weir didn’t address, because he didn’t know about when he wrote the novel: Martian soil has perchlorates, a type of salt that’s hazardous to the human body. Lately, we have been hearing a lot of news on the life on MARS. “When I watched that movie, I started thinking, ‘What if we could grow potatoes in outer space?’” she said. Researchers have selected 65 for the Mars experiment. "Every speck of everything has to be recycled. Watney, whose character is played by actor Matt Damon, later engineers a way to grow potatoes on Mars and remarks, "I am the greatest botanist on this planet." Spaceship Earth has been recycling gases and water and nutrients for eons. Matt Damon sure pulled it off in the 2015 movie "The Martian." Instead of cultivating the soil over time, movie-Watney planted a spoonful of rehydrated human poop next to each piece of potato. NASA does have Mars colonization on its radar screen. They're breathing." Environment: On the surface of mars, Earth plants will not survive overnight. It wouldn’t make for riveting cinema. We take it all for granted.". The U.S. space agency has launched a program to land humans there in about 15 years. A group of scientists is trying to unearth the secret recipe for farming on Mars, hauling two tons of sun-baked soil to their cosmic kitchen two days away. "If we're really going to do this, you can't open a window and throw stuff out," he says. That includes, of course, human waste. Keeping the system sealed so that nothing can leak out isn't a big deal at this point, Bugbee says. Sodramjet Could Reach Anywhere on Earth in 2 Hours, There Is Water Flowing on Mars As We Speak, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone. "They are very resilient. The bigger problems, he says, in addition to recycling everything, is maintaining what he calls buffers—extra storage for things like water and oxygen that can be filled from or emptied into the environment as needed. His only chance to have enough food to last until he's rescued is to turn his habitat into a space farm, using the only crop he has available: potatoes. A confident Elon Musk thinks his SpaceX startup can do it in nearly half the time, with its new Falcon Heavy rocket. About the Project. Matt Damon plays an astronaut who is presumed dead in an accident and left behind on Mars. Potatoes have played a starring role in one recent Hollywood film set on Mars, but it turns out growing potatoes on another planet may be far from science fiction, reports CBS … That's a tremendous challenge." You can grow them almost anywhere. Jet is fascinated by the Earthie potatoes that the kids have grown in the backyard garden. One kilogram is about $10,000," Silva explained. "It depends." Bugbee says the science isn't there yet to show how well someone would do surviving on such a monotonous diet for so long, but he doesn't see why Watney couldn't get by. In the movie The Martian, Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, gets stranded on Mars. Yes, it is possible to grow plants on Mars – kind of. Scientists brought back the dirt, which is the main ingredient in an audacious and groundbreaking test taking place in Lima, Peru. After the potatoes sprout on mars in the movie “The Martian,” Mark Watney, portrayed by Matt Damon states, “They say, once you grow crops somewhere you have officially colonized it.” I am a witness that the Putah Creek Council has officially claimed their territory at their new growing … IN HIS new film Matt Damon plays an astronaut stuck on Mars, who has to learn to survive for years on his own. We also have enormous buffers in the form of the oceans. So they'll give the next batch of seeds more space by loosening up the soil, as well as try other varieties of tubers that don't mind a little extra salt in their diet. - YouTube "They were actually growing potatoes throughout the course of the movie," Damon said. But the movie certainly made no mention of it, likely because there is no real solution to it right now, anyway. Now, a NASA-backed “Potatoes on Mars” experiment is showing that Watney’s fictional feat might actually be possible. (Spoiler alert) In the movie, when Watney (played by Matt Damon) gets stranded on Mars, he plants potatoes in a greenhouse using Martian soil and his own "metabolic waste." In order to stay alive, Mark shovelled in Martian dirt into The Hab, mixed it with human 'waste' and, according to the book, a small sample of earth soil so that the earth bacteria, nutrients and other stuff soil contains could multiply. So yeah, that's why the potatoes in the film look REAL. She came up with the idea after seeing “The Martian,” the sci-fi movie in which actor Matt Damon plays a potato-growing astronaut trapped on Mars. But dust storms on Mars can still be dangerous: they impair visibility and, crucially, reduce your ability to harvest solar energy. She came up with the idea after seeing “The Martian,” the sci-fi movie in which actor Matt Damon plays a potato-growing astronaut trapped on Mars. Now he wants to try to grow potatoes on Mars! Regular potatoes, close relatives to the poisonous tobacco and nightshade plants, can't be eaten raw and have highly toxic leaves. Kreuze and his team have a lot of options. "Potatoes are extremely versatile -- extremely dry conditions, extremely cold conditions, where it reaches minus 20 at night, and then you can grow it. Potatoes have played a starring role in one recent Hollywood film set on Mars, but it turns out growing potatoes on another planet may be far from science fiction, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Albert. In The Martian, a stranded NASA astronaut is forced to turn a planned four-week mission on the surface of Mars into a marathon for survival. The Martian is a 2015 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. Astrobiology students cultivated leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and even hops in simulated Martian dirt. The plot lines of the returning craft's requirement to be perpendicular to the surface of Mars in order to be able to leave the planet and a botanist/astronaut growing Earth plants in the Martian soil were seen before in George Pals Conquest of Space (1955). The soil does the job of retaining water and holding up the plants. Growing potatoes on Mars: NASA researches space farming in Peru by CCTV English. Originally Answered: Can we really grow plants on Mars as they show in the movie Martian? "Then they're really hardy spuds," Kreuze said, laughing. Space crop researcher Bruce Bugbee tells us how to do space agriculture, and what he'd do differently if he could build a farm on Mars. (Giles Keyte/Twentieth Century Fox/Thinkstock) It’s rare that the world’s potato scientists get a chance to weigh in on a pop culture item, since their favorite little tuber rarely plays a role in Game Of Thrones or a superhero movie. One of the beautiful things about beans is that if they germinate (which is not always easy), they form a big plant with nice green leaves quite quickly. At one point, a catastrophic explosion exposes Mark’s entire potato farm to the Martian atmosphere and kills his remaining crop. Bugbee, who runs the Crop Physiology Lab at Utah State University, has been studying how to grow food crops on spaceships for NASA for the last 30 years. "It's too expensive. Directed by Ridley Scott. ", "Well, it probably means that this soil is not ideal for potato. Can You Actually Grow Potatoes on Mars? With Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara. More than 10 different crops have […] It … In " The Martian," Watney grows his own food by planting potato eyes in the ground. Buffers that can absorb and release gases and water are needed to maintain the optimum balance in such an environment as conditions change. 2:56. 'The Martian': Can You Really Grow Potatoes on Mars? In the movie The Martian, Matt Damon plays a stranded astronaut who has to grow his own food on the red planet. And now a study has suggested that, yes, we could actually grow potatoes on Mars. A movie, The Martian was also released last year on the existence of life in the Red Planet. That's no longer a tall pole in the tent." Despite never saying it explicitly in the novel on which the film is based, author Andy Weir has revealed that "The Martian" is set in the near future; the NASA crew lands on Mars in November 2035. Students care for plants with Professor Edward Guinan (right) in Villanova University’s Mars Garden. Speaking of … Space farming researcher Bruce Bugbee tells PM that the story gets it pretty much right. Why We Should Land on Phobos Before We Land on Mars, What I Learned Living Through a Simulated Mars Mission. I wonder, because I think the soil would have been exposed to too much sun light and rays that might make it radioactive. The Hab. But the premise is sound, Mars is like Iceland and they can grow potatoes on Iceland (though, with a bit of help from the abundant geothermal heat they have there). Directed by Ridley Scott. NASA does have Mars colonization on its radar screen. Their center is home to the world's largest gene bank of potatoes -- 4,000 varieties of potatoes and 8,000 types of sweet potatoes.