Who’s going to eat the primary alien vegetable? – BGR

The crew of the Worldwide House Station not too long ago took supply of a case of wine. A full dozen bottles of scrumptious crimson wine traveled from Earth, by means of the environment, and ended up on the orbiting laboratory the place six scientists need to let it sit for a yr earlier than sending it again. They will’t drink it, which is a bummer, however the experiment goals to disclose how area radiation and low gravity may change the make-up and taste of the wine.

It bought me considering: Who’s going to be the primary human to eat a vegetable grown on the floor of one other world?

Think about being the primary human to find the existence of eggplants. The earliest documentation noting the existence of the eggplant dates again many centuries, and it’s unknown whether or not it first originated in Africa or India, however both is equally seemingly. However what about that first one who determined to take a chew of it, or any wild vegetable for that matter?

Did they see it, assume it appeared tasty, and dive in? Did they observe animals consuming it and assume it to be protected? Did a village of historic peoples maintain a vote to determine who can be the guinea pig? We don’t know, and possibly by no means will, however as we start to discover our Photo voltaic System and ultimately ship crewed missions to Mars and maybe past, these courageous vacationers will want meals, and it will make sense to develop that meals on location, if attainable.

Scientists right here on Earth have been experimenting with analogs of Martian soil to find out what may develop there. There are a variety of candidates, together with potatoes, and it’s fully attainable that we’ll in the future be rising crops someplace apart from Earth. That’s thrilling, however simply as with the wine experiment, we’re not fully certain how one thing like a Mars potato may differ from an Earth potato.

The floor of Mars is bombarded with considerably extra radiation than we’ve got to take care of right here on Earth. That is the results of Mars dropping a lot of its environment and a a lot weaker magnetic subject. If we had been to develop potatoes on the floor, even inside one thing like a heated glass dome the place we are able to management many variables, we actually do not know how the plant may react or how totally different the greens it produces is likely to be.

NASA has even sponsored analysis that seeks to genetically modify vegetation earlier than they’re despatched to the Pink Planet, hoping to make them extra appropriate with the situations they’ll finally be compelled to develop in. This, the researchers hope, will likely be a step towards Mars-friendly crops that may develop for generations.

If we glance even farther into the longer term — and make a number of completely unwarranted assumptions about our potential to find after which journey to exoplanets the place life is already thriving — the query of meals turns into much more advanced. In a hypothetical future the place a manned mission lands on an alien world already stuffed with its personal distinctive vegetation and animals, what can we eat?

Such a future assumes unimaginable technological developments, and maybe a fast scan from a magical handheld machine may warn deep-space vacationers to the hazards of a toxic plant they’ve by no means seen earlier than. However even then, if science says that bizarre blue tomato in your hand is protected, would you be keen to take the primary chew of a very alien veggie?

Picture Supply: Backround: NASA/ESO/NAOJ

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