"The Martian," the sci-fi movie released in 2015 featured Matt Damon cultivating potatoes on Mars for his existence. Now, it has been proved that the idea of cultivating potatoes on the red planet is not merely a sci-fi curiosity from Ridley Scott and Andy Weir. A NASA-backed experiment named "Potatoes on Mars" clearly indicates that growing it on the Red Planet may be really possible in the near future.

Potatoes on Mars: One of the most ambitious space projects

The International Potato Centre began its second phase of the project to grow potatoes in the driest of soils which were taken from the Peruvian desert.

The team believes that if the project becomes successful, it could help astronauts to master the art of cultivating potatoes in the red planet. The soil taken from the Peruvian desert is being formulated in such a way that it has the same aridity and high salt content just as the soil on Mars.

In the experiment, the researchers spiked the dry desert soil with fertilized soil, just like the same way in which Matt Damon added nutrients in the Mars soil by mixing it with his human waste.

A credible video footage to substantiate the result

The International Potato Centre (CIP) has now released a video footage which clearly shows that the team has grown potatoes in the Mars-like soil. The researchers from the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) planted a tuber in a Cubesat and finally succeeded in growing potatoes there.

"Growing vegetables under Mars-like conditions is a critical phase of this experiment. If the crops can bear the severe conditions that we are exposing them to in our CubeSat, they have a good chance to grow on Mars", said Julio Valdivia-Silva Julio also added that the team would do various experiments to understand which potato varieties grow best in the soil similar to that of Mars.

As human beings are thinking of building a colony on Mars, this experimental result is certainly exciting, as Potato forms a major part of human diet for thousands of years.