A project developed by students from the University of Southampton’s Spaceflight Society has reached the final stage of an international competition.
#LettuceOnMars, which aims to send a small greenhouse to Mars in which lettuce can be grown using the planet’s atmosphere and sunlight, is the only entry from a UK university out of the ten projects that reached the final stage. It was selected by judges due to the popularity of the idea, as well as how technically feasible it was deemed to be.
The team now need the votes of the public in order to be selected as the winning entry – online voting is currently open and closes on 31 December 2014.
Project leader, Suzanna Lucarotti, said:
“To live on other planets we need to grow food there. No-one has ever actually done this and we intend to be the first. This plan is both technically feasible and incredibly ambitious in its scope, for we will be bringing the first complex life to another planet.”
The competition is run by Mars One, an organisation that wants to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2025.
The winning entry from the student competition will arrive on Mars in 2018 along with a number of experiments run by the Mars One organisation.