Last week’s post about farming in space was such a hit, I decided to follow up on it here. If you haven’t seen it yet, The Martian follows astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) after he ends up stranded on Mars. Running out of food, but needing to survive for more than a year in a temporary habitat that’s not designed to last more than a month, he has to get creative.
[spoilers] As much good this did for getting people excited about space again, I think it’s important to remember that what helps Watney more than anything is his ability to grow food creatively. He uses his own waste to fertilize his potato clones and creates water out of thin air. So, at the risk of seeming too much like Buzzfeed, click through the gallery below, get inspired, then go get vertical!
Bonus! This little bit of dialog was too good to leave out:
“[11:52] WATNEY: The crops are potatoes, grown from the ones we were supposed to prepare on Thanksgiving. They’re doing great, but the available farmland isn’t enough for sustainability. I’ll run out of food around Sol 900. Also: Tell the crew I’m alive! What the fuck is wrong with you?
[12:04] Jet Propulsion Lab: We’ll get botanists in to ask detailed questions and double-check your work. Your life is at stake, so we want to be sure. Sol 900 is great news. It’ll give us a lot more time to get the supply mission together. Also, please watch your language. Everything you type is being broadcast live all over the world.
“Hell yeah I’m a botanist! Fear my botany powers!” – Mark Watney
The newest space film The Martian predicts a future where plant knowledge is not only imperative for human advancement but for astronaut Mark Watney’s very survival. I was just at the NASA headquarters in Washington, DC and even the best minds there weren’t immune to the buzz around this fall’s hottest flick, constantly asking how Veggie, NASA’s new micro-gravity plant growth system, will be used on Mars. During the entire meeting, I was conscious of something important: a synthesis between vertical farming technologies and space exploration that goes far deeper than what the general public seems to realize. Keep reading to learn more about: