April 20, 2019
With their experience on Earth, Georgians want to be the first to produce wine on the red planet.
Red Planet Vine, vintage 2040
Image above: Crater "Spirit of St. Louis" scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity (MER-B). The bottle is a photo-montage (Illustration).
A glass of wine after a day of exploring Mars? If the idea seems to be science fiction, it aims to study the possibility of cultures on this planet where Americans have promised to send men in the decades to come. "Georgians were the first winemakers in history and now we hope to become pioneers in viticulture on another planet," says Nikoloz Doborjguinidze, co-founder of this ambitious project.
The first traces of wine production date back to 8000 years ago in this country wedged between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea. Building on this tradition, a group of researchers and entrepreneurs came together to respond to a call from NASA to imagine a "sustainable human presence" on Mars. Objective: greenhouse production of vine and grape varieties that can be grown on the Red Planet ...
Biologist Marika Tarasashvili
One of the project's scientists, biologist Marika Tarasashvili, is developing a bacterium that could turn the arid soil of Mars into fertile soil.
Regions with "extreme ecosystems"
The researchers collected bacteria from areas with "extreme ecosystems", including hot springs, and claim to have created strains of bacteria that can withstand harsh Martian conditions.
Greenhouse: could feed astronauts on Mars
They are also testing the skin of the 525 varieties of grapes found in Georgia to determine which will best withstand high levels of radiation.
Georgian Technical University (Tbilissi): http://gtu.ge/Eng/
Images, Text, Credits: AFP/Georgian Technical University/NASA/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.