Southampton students are aiming to put the first life on Mars.

#LettuceOnMars is a student project from the Spaceflight Society, a multidisplinary society made of undergraduate and postgraduate SUSU members, and has reached the finals of an international competition, run by Mars One, to land experiments on Mars. The lucky winners will see their experiment sent to the planet in 2018 along with official experiments.

 

As the title suggests, the aim of the project is to grow lettuce on Mars. To do this, the team are sending to Mars a specially constructed greenhouse with temperature control and aerosporic feeding system. The project was selected for its feasibility and popularity, but now must prove popular to the public as voting opens for the winning project.

 

“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” says project leader Suzanna Lucarotti. “This plan is both technically feasible and incredibly ambitious in its scope, for we will be bringing the first complex life to another planet. Growing plants on other planets is something that needs to be done, and will lead to a wealth of research and industrial opportunities that our plan aims to bring to the University of Southampton.

 

“We have tackled diverse sets of engineering challenges, including aeroponic systems, bio filters, low power gas pressurisation systems and failsafe planetary protection systems and then integrated them all into one payload on a tight mass, power and cost budget. We can build this here and now, the only step now is to win the public vote.”

 

To vote for the team, vote #LettuceOnMars – details are on the team website http://www.lettuceonmars.com/

 

You can also follow them on twitter @MarsOneProject and @lettuceonmars, on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LettuceOnMars and on Google+.