While space agencies are currently studying ways to send men to Mars, others are conducting life-size tests to consider how the settlers will live on the red planet.
The Mars Desert Research Station mission is thus a simulation of life on Mars based in Hanksville, Utah. The concept is simple: try to reproduce the conditions of life on Mars in stations isolated from the rest of the world in order to test procedures and experiments which could be reproduced on Mars.
In addition to the tests carried out on the different ways of keeping a community alive on Mars, a parallel project consisted in trying to make beer on the red planet. The guinea pigs therefore undertook to grow all the ingredients necessary for the preparation of the drink with soil simulating the composition of Martian soil. It turns out that hops and sorghum grow particularly well in these conditions, and find interesting medicinal applications, in addition to being ingredients for making beer …
According to the researchers, being able to make beer on Mars would have a beneficial effect on the morale of the colonists, who would find comfort in the midst of restrictive and repetitive daily procedures.
The plants grew faster and performed better with simulated Mars soil than with terrestrial soil, which means that the settlers could grow a lot of vegetables faster on Mars than on Earth, so good news for their autonomy.