Students at Southampton University’s Spaceflight Society (UKSEDS affiliated branch) need your help now to win an international competition and send lettuce to Mars. Their plan involves growing lettuce aeroponically using the Martian atmosphere in a small growth chamber. Their proposal has passed technical review, they now simply need to win the public vote.
Suzanna Lucarotti (Project Lead & Society President) said:
“To live on other planets we need to grow food there. No-one has ever actually done this and we intend to be the first. “
“This plan is both technically feasible and incredibly ambitious in its scope, for we will be bringing the first complex life to another planet.”
“Growing plants on other planets is something that needs to be done, and will lead to a wealth of research and industrial opportunities that our plan aims to bring to the United Kingdom.”
“We have tackled diverse sets of engineering challenges… We can build this here and now, the only step now is to win the vote.”
The proposal involves a growth chamber containing the frozen seeds, which will pressurise and heat up after landing.
Oxygen will be produced by electrolysis of water brought from Earth, while dissolved nutrients will be vaporised in the growth chamber.
It is expected the lettuce will take four weeks to grow before being heated up and killed off to stop possible contamination.
Nine other entries, from universities in the USA, Europe, Australia and India, were shortlisted out of a possible 35, this is the only UK entry.
For voting instructions and to find out more, please visit http://www.lettuceonmars.com. Follow #LettuceonMars.
#LettuceonMars Project Lead & SUSF President