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Fri Jan 12, 2018, 04:58 PM

If We Ever Get to Mars, the Beer Might Not Be Bad



Here’s an interplanetary botany discovery that took college students and not NASA scientists to find: Hops — the flowers used to add a pleasant bitterness to beer — grow well in Martian soil.

“I don’t know if it’s a practical plant, but it’s doing fairly well,” said Edward F. Guinan, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Villanova University.

Last semester, 25 students took Dr. Guinan’s class on astrobiology, about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

For the laboratory part of the course, the students became farmers, experimenting to see which crops might grow in Martian soil and feed future travelers there.
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Martian soil is very dense and dries out quickly — perhaps better for making bricks than growing plants, which have trouble pushing their roots through. That includes potatoes, the savior food for the fictional Mark Watney in “The Martian,” the book by Andy Weir and later a movie starring Matt Damon about a NASA astronaut stranded on Mars.

For the most part, the students chose practical, nutritious plants like soy beans and kale in addition to potatoes. Some added herbs like basil and mint so that astronauts could enjoy more flavorful food on thesolar system’s fourth world.

And one group chose hops.

“Because they’re students,” Dr. Guinan said. “Martian beer.”
(He vetoed marijuana.) - New York Times

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Reply If We Ever Get to Mars, the Beer Might Not Be Bad (Original post)
ffr Jan 2018 OP
Irish_Dem Jan 2018 #1
ret5hd Jan 2018 #2
Irish_Dem Jan 2018 #3
csziggy Jan 2018 #4
GeorgeGist Jan 2018 #5

Response to ffr (Original post)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 05:06 PM

1. The only two foods you really need are ale and potatoes.

Throw in a hunk of meat every now and then.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 05:50 PM

2. Well, really (if you are hardy) ale, vodka, and beef jerkey.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 05:53 PM

3. That would work too.

The Irish men in my family are happy with beer, potatoes and a hunk of steak.

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Response to ffr (Original post)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 10:40 PM

4. Anything that creates biomass could be a start

Especially if they have roots strong enough to penetrate compacted soil.

We're on a solid red clay ridge and when we first got the property planted rye grass and clover in the fall to help break up the clay and add organics to hold moisture. We need to return to that practice - over the years those organics have washed off the slopes and carried a lot of nutrients with them.

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Response to ffr (Original post)

Mon Jan 15, 2018, 05:01 PM

5. Fake Martian soil?

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