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Extraterrestrial Farmers To Raise Grain Without Soil? (Aeroponics)

7 Dec 2010, 17:27 UTC
Extraterrestrial Farmers To Raise Grain Without Soil? (Aeroponics)
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If you were to attempt to raise a garden utilizing only lunar or Martian soil, chances are that your precious plants would either die a horrible death or survive albeit malnourished.While there are probably exceptions to this rule (i.e. asparagus might be able to thrive within Martian dirt), the vast majority of terrestrial plants will need terrestrial soil in order to thrive, which poses a huge problem for humanity (as people need to eat off world, let alone find employment).Instead of importing tons of terrestrial soil from the homeworld or manufacturing large quantities from humans, it’s probably wiser to raise them without soil thanks to aeroponics.Growing plants without any soil may conjure up images from a Star Trek movie, but it’s hardly science fiction. Aeroponics, as one soilless cultivation process is called, grows plants in an air or mist environment with no soil and very little water. Scientists have been experimenting with the method since the early 1940s, and aeroponics systems have been in use on a commercial basis since 1983.“Who says that soil is a precondition for agriculture?” asked Graber. “There are two major preconditions for agriculture, the first being water and the second being plant nutrients. Modern agriculture ...

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