How bugs could help us grow food on Mars – DNyuz

How bugs could help us grow food on Mars

NASA’s hopes to put humans on Mars and one day settle the Red Planet as humanity’s second home could very well rely on some of the smallest creatures on our planet. According to new research, insects could play a vital part in ensuring that we can grow food on Mars.

While the first thought here might have something to do with pollination, we aren’t actually talking about bees or any of the insects that help with that side of things. Researchers believe insects such as the black soldier fly may be crucial to growing food on Mars.

One of the biggest hindrances that we need to overcome to settle a human colony on Mars will require us to grow our own food there. That would not only save millions on food costs but also ensure that astronauts staying on the planet could hold out should anything happen to shipments traveling from Earth.

But if we want to be able to produce food on Mars we will have to solve a few problems. First and foremost, we have to figure out how to make Mars’s lifeless soil more pliable for plants. Mars’s lack of an atmosphere means that the soil on Mars isn’t nearly as rich in the essentials that Earth is.

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So how do we fix that? Well, a group of researchers believe that by using the frass from black soldier flies as fertilizer, we could add more nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and bacteria — another important part of growing plants on the Moon and other planetary bodies — to the soil. This could help the food planted on Mars grow more reliably (via The New York Times).

The researchers presented their findings at the Entomological Society of America conference earlier this month. The researchers tested the theory using soil that was similar to Mars soil. They got some great results. The future of space exploration and the ability to provide for astronauts in distant planets may depend on bugs we bring with us.

but that’s also another area that brings in some of its own issues, we we’ll need to ensure any insects taken to other planets aren’t going to pose a threat to the ecosystem on those planets. If we can do that, then insects like black soldier flies could help us make growing food on Mars possible and more reliable.

The post How bugs could help us grow food on Mars appeared first on BGR.