“If you’re a growing fan of food-stuffed animals, you might want to consider making some space travel a thing.
A team of researchers at the University of Toronto has developed a system that’s able to grow plants on Mars, where astronauts could have access to the same food and resources as humans.”
The team, led by the University College London’s Andrew Gompertz, has already grown plants on other planets such as Venus and Mars, but this is the first time that the team has been able to successfully grow on another world.
The technique is called the Mars Rejuvenation Plant System, or RMPS.
This is an acronym for Red Planet Plants for Planetary Return, and it’s basically a system of a few small plants that have been genetically engineered to grow in space, which could be useful for space travel.
Basically, this is a way to give plants on Earth the same amount of nutrition as plants on another planet, which in turn can help grow plants that humans could harvest.
The RMPS is based on a single-cell genetic manipulation technique called recombinant DNA (RCaD), which was developed in the 1990s by MIT researcher David Dillin.
The goal of the RMPS was to make plants grow on the Red Planet by modifying the gene coding for a protein that has been used to grow on Earth.
“We were able to change the gene so that it would produce a protein, which is the same protein we need for growing on Earth, but we would not be able to produce it in space,” Gomperts said.
The team first designed a genetic modification called the C-terminal truncation, or CRT, that would give the plants more energy.
“The goal of our approach is to make a single gene that would produce CRT proteins for plant growth in space.
The plant that we’re growing would be able not only to grow faster in space than the other plants, but also to have greater nutrient availability.”
The CRT protein would be inserted into the plant’s genome, and the researchers would then insert a second CRT gene that could be activated in space to make the plant grow faster.
The resulting plants would then grow in the same manner as humans, and be able, in theory, to harvest food and water from the surface of Mars.
The system is still a work in progress, but Gombrets said the team hopes to have the first plants in space within three years.
“Once we get a bit of the first generation of plants in the lab, we will then go into the next phase, where we can begin to harvest some of the resources we need on Mars,” Gomo said.
Gombertz said he is looking forward to a day when we can harvest water from Mars, which would give us a way of feeding astronauts on Mars.
“There’s a lot of potential in the resource storage space, but it’s going to take some time for it to be realized.”
The researchers also have another plan in mind.
The next step is to build a rover that could go into orbit around Mars, and then go back into space to extract resources.
The Mars Rover that will be built will have a robotic arm that can lift heavy materials, such as rocks, up into space.
“It could then land on the surface, which might not be as exciting as going into orbit, but could also be useful in the future,” Gomeres said.
“I think the next step will be to develop a robot that can go in and extract resources from the Martian surface, and also go back to Earth and bring back samples and other materials.”
The next phase will be called “reentry,” which will be when the rover goes back to Mars.
Gomo hopes to launch his rover in 2021.
For now, he’s focused on the Mars project, which has a long road ahead.
“What I really want to see happen is that the Mars Rover is the most important project that we’ll ever do in spaceflight,” Goms said.