Nav: Home

Space agriculture topic of symposium

October 05, 2016

October 5, 2016--Scientists have studied the earth's soils for hundreds of years. But not until the first moon exploration have extraterrestrial surfaces been within reach. Soil science could learn much from what is found on the surfaces of other celestial bodies. And, according to a NASA scientist, research is ongoing for possible missions in the 2030s.

The "New frontiers of soil and plant sciences: Astropedology and Space Agriculture" symposium planned at the Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, will address this important topic. The symposium will be held Monday, November 7, 2016 at 9:00AM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

According to organizer Hangsheng Lin, Penn State University, "space exploration has created a brand-new window of opportunity for the study of extraterrestrial soils - 'astropedology' - as well as space agriculture. Exciting frontiers abound, which in return can help to enhance terrestrial soil and plant sciences by placing Earth's soils in a broader planetary science context."

Bruce Bugbee, Utah State University, quotes a line from the movie The Martian: "we'll have to science the shit out of this," when referring to growing food on other planets. His talk will analyze the effect of "altered atmospheres and reduced gravity on the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Planetary environments will alter plant water status and water recycling rates. Altered photosynthetic radiation will change plant metabolic rates and oxygen demand in the root-zone. Rates of microbial nitrogen transformation will be altered."

"NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s," says Douglas Ming, NASA. "Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian 'soil' and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements.

For more information about the Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance 2016 meeting, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 26, 2016 is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/media for registration information. For information about the "New frontiers of soil and plant sciences: Astropedology and Space Agriculture" symposium, visit https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2016am/webprogram/Session16099.html.

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview.
-end-


American Society of Agronomy

Related Mars Articles:

How hard did it rain on Mars?
Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study published in Icarus.
Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day
Purdue researchers developed a model that suggests that debris that was pushed into space from an asteroid or other body slamming into Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and alternates between becoming a planetary ring and clumping up to form a moon.
Digging deeper into Mars
Scientists continue to unravel the mystery of life on Mars by investigating evidence of water in the planet's soil.
A bewildering form of dune on Mars
Researchers have discovered a type of dune on Mars intermediate in size between tiny ripples and wavier dunes, and unlike anything seen on Earth.
Mars is emerging from an ice age
Radar measurements of Mars' polar ice caps reveal that the mostly dry, dusty planet is emerging from an ice age, following multiple rounds of climate change.
Shifting sands on Mars
University of Iowa researchers have a $501,000 NASA grant to travel to Iceland to better understand sand dunes found all over the planet Mars.
Potatoes on Mars
A team of world-class CIP and NASA scientists will grow potatoes under Martian conditions in a bid to save millions of lives.
You too can learn to farm on Mars!
Scientists at Washington State University and the University of Idaho are helping students figure out how to farm on Mars, much like astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, attempts in the critically acclaimed movie 'The Martian.'
Similarities between aurorae on Mars and Earth
An international team of researchers has for the first time predicted the occurrence of aurorae visible to the naked eye on a planet other than Earth.
Mars might have liquid water
Researchers have long known that there is water in the form of ice on Mars.

Related Mars Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#514 Arctic Energy (Rebroadcast)
This week we're looking at how alternative energy works in the arctic. We speak to Louie Azzolini and Linda Todd from the Arctic Energy Alliance, a non-profit helping communities reduce their energy usage and transition to more affordable and sustainable forms of energy. And the lessons they're learning along the way can help those of us further south.