Farming on Mars is strengthened by the first earthworms born on the soil of Mars & # 39; – tech2.org

Farming on Mars is strengthened by the first earthworms born on the soil of Mars & # 39;



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Living on Mars became a bit more realistic after a team could produce two healthy earthworms on simulated Martian soil, Space.com reported Monday. A biology lab led by Wieger Weamelink at Wageningen University and the Netherlands Research Center made the birth announcement last week that it has been trying to grow plants in the false Martian soil for some years; Weamelink decided to launch a couple of adult worms to see if they reproduced, and they did, for the first time. The soil is a hybrid of the "simulants" of the soil produced by NASA that are composed mainly of volcanic terrestrial rocks along with a pinch of pig manure. The success of worm births is an important milestone for the potential Martian exploration, since agriculture will be of paramount importance for survival. Earthworms are key to the agricultural process, since (along with bacteria) they break down the organic material and release it into the soil, which is then processed into nitrogen, phosphorus and potbadium for the plants to absorb and thrive. And the natural tunneling behavior of earthworms helps aerate the soil, allowing better absorption. The laboratory has launched a crowdfunding initiative, Worms for Mars, to continue researching the birth and sustenance of the earthworm on Martian soil.

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