An artist's rendering of the Mars Ice Home concept.
An artist's rendering of the Mars Ice Home concept.

Can You Terraform Mars? with Kennda Lynch

NASA/Clouds AO/SEArch, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

Can we grow food on Mars? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Paul Mecurio learn about a new NASA project “Plant Trek” and the challenges of surviving on other planets with astrobiologist Kennda Lynch.

Learn how scientists are trying to work with Martian regolith to discover solutions for farming on the red planet. What are the major differences between Earth soil and Martian or Lunar regolith? We discuss perchlorate, The Martian, and the main challenges of Martian regolith.

Could Matt Damon in The Martian have really survived on home-grown Martian potatoes? We break down what he got right, what step he was missing, and the health effects of eating Martian produce. What would Kennda do as an astrobiologist if aliens came to Earth?

What is in the Martian regolith? Learn what compounds we are working with, what similarities it has with what we have on Earth, and what we plan to do about radiation. We discuss the potential of terraforming Mars and what is the coolest part of being an astrobiologist. What can plants grown on Mars teach us about Earth?

Thanks to our Patrons Konrad Kalinko, Shawn Allison, Kevin Mitchell, Skylar Gravatt, Terry Sullivan, Carol Anklam, and Chantal for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

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