Martian Terroir (there is no great stagnation)

Earlier this summer, Carlos Monleon-Gendall, exhibiting as part of the always-intriguing Royal College of Art Design Interactionsend-of-year show, explored the process of wine-making as if on Mars.

In his specially designed growth chamber, a lonely vine, from a species chosen for its cold tolerance, sends its roots down into a Martian soil analogue (a hand-pulverised mix of volcanic rocks and glasses as well as ferromagnesia clays), while extending its leaves toward a Martian sun.

Monleon-Gendall’s Martian micro-environment accurately simulates UVA and UVB radiation levels as well as seasonal shifts in the red planet’s sunset and sunrise by using a NASA app developed by the scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (“UVC radiation is not modeled for human health and safety reasons,” the narrator of his project video intones, reassuringly.)

There is more of interest at the link, and this seems to be the bottom line:

Such a vocabulary will help with the palate re-training necessary in order to achieve the project’s goal: to help humans “acquire a taste for other planets.”

The “markets in everything” angle is this:

To help humans catch up to his prickly, potato pioneers, Keats also sold bottles of Martian mineral water.

“The minerals, including pyroxene and ulvospinel and pigeonite, will be used by your body to make bone and tissue,” Keats explained toWired. “Exploring Mars in this way, you’ll start to go native.”

From Nicola, here is more, with good photos, and for the pointer I thank Walter Olson.


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