Science 2 min read

Scientists Are Trying To Grow Grapes On Mars

Although it may seem like a strange publicity event, Georgia's efforts to put grapes on Mars could be a vital doorway into creating a successful method of soil fertilization on Mars.

It would be fitting that the berry that most resembles the Red Planet would become the first plant on Mars. ¦ Pixabay

It would be fitting that the berry that most resembles the Red Planet would become the first plant on Mars. ¦ Pixabay

Georgia wants to be the first nation to grow grapes on Mars.

The nation has a winemaking tradition that dates back thousands of years. In 2017, some archaeologists discovered traces of winemaking on 8,000 years old pottery shards in Georgia.

Thanks to its mild climate, the wine tourism industry has not only thrived in this region, but the wine itself is on the rise. Georgia-based wine earned a spot on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines list in 2017.

Now, the first winemakers on Earth want to take their trade to another planet. The former Soviet country is working on a project to develop grape varieties that’ll grow on Mars.

Speaking to AFP, co-founder of the project, Nikolaz Doborjginidze said: 

“Georgians were the first winemakers on Earth, and now we hope to pioneer viticulture on the planet next door.”

Grapes on Mars: How it Began

A couple of years ago, NASA invited the general public to contribute ideas for a sustained human presence on Mars. Within this period, a group of researchers and entrepreneurs in Georgia got together to figure out how to push the country’s winemaking venture out of this world.

The project – IX Millennium – is managed by a consortium which consists of Tbilisi’s Business and Technology University, the Georgian Space Research Agency, the National Museum, and Space Farm.

While this all seems like science fiction, some of the researchers are already reporting breakthroughs.

Project astrobiologist, Marika Tarasashvili is developing bacteria that could make the soil on Mars fertile. According to reports, the researchers collected bacteria from parts of Georgia with an extreme ecosystem. Then, they designed strains that are ideal for the Martian condition.

In a statement to the press, Tarasashvili said; 

“The idea is for the bacteria to transform the lifeless surface of Mars into fertile soil on which future colonists will be able to cultivate plants.”

A high level of ultra-violet radiation continually hits the surface of Mars. In an attempt to find the most resistant, the researchers are testing the skins of varieties of grape in Georgia.

The preliminary result reveals that the Rkatsiteli – for white wines with crisp green-apple flavors – will thrive under such conditions.

Read More: Alcosynth: Hangover Free Synthetic Alcohol is Coming

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

Comments (2)
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    Lisa Gaillard April 13 at 12:18 am GMT

    Viticulture in Mars is so cool but I can imagine the price of those grapes. $$$

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    John Usrey April 15 at 2:07 pm GMT

    Can plant grow 0n Mars? As far as I know, Mars has no soil.

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