So you’re planning your next trip to Mars, right? What happens if you are left behind?! You’ll definitely need some food. Growing vegetables isn’t rocket science, until you try to grow them in outer space. Here’s a DIY project to create your own food when your annoying friends leave you on a foreign planet.
*Note: Make sure to put these ingredients on your packing list before your vacation to Mars.
1. Start with your “plant pillow” – Each of the pillows should contain seeds, controlled-release fertilizer pellets, and a kitty litter-like clay mixture, designed to allow oxygen and water to reach the plants’ roots. The seeds’ roots will grow down into the pillow, acting as an anchor, so your plants don’t float away.
2. Put up clear, flexible walls – The walls will trap the humidity inside.
3. Inject water directly into the pillows - This will stimulate germination. This is to avoid trying to pour water in space, which would just form a ball.
4. Turn on the lights – In outer space, sunlight is less reliable. This is where you’ll need red, blue, and green light from LEDs. However, only red and blue LEDs are vital. The green light is only needed to stop the lettuce from looking like a purple alien lifeform.
5. Eat - If you follow all of the above steps, your plants will start growing. Bon appétit!
Hopefully these tips help you on your next journey to space. But remember, when you’re wandering around Mars, always use the buddy system! To learn more info about growing plants and veggies in space, check out NASA.gov. Don't forget to see The Martian in IMAX for one week only!