astroecology

Scientist growing asparagus out of a meteor

As the colonization of outer space by the human race inches closer, the space industry is grappling with the thorny issue of how to feed future interplanetary residents. One astroecologist has been experimenting with growing plants in meteorite dust with some success. Professor Michael Mautner of Virginia Commonwealth University has been studying which crops function best when plopped in ground-up asteroid offshoots. The results, as you can probably imagine, depend from meteorite to meteorite.”

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A Scientist Is Growing Asparagus In Meteorites to Prepare Us for Space Farming

“People have been talking about terraforming, but what I’m trying to do is give some concrete evidence that it’s possible to do this, that it’s possible to grow in extraterrestrial materials,” Michael Mautner, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher and one of the world’s only “astroecologists” told me. “What I’ve found is that a range of microorganisms—bacteria, fungi, and even asparagus and potato plants—can survive with the nutrients that are in extraterrestrial materials.”

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