Mars One will send seeds to Mars in 2018 to grow the first plant on the Red planet, thanks to the 'Seed' team.The 'Seed' team has won a contest on the best designs for experiments on Mars organised by the Mars One.
'Seed' was selected by popular vote from 35 university proposals and this is the first time the public has decided which experiment should receives the extraordinary opportunity to land on Mars.
"Seed itself is uniquely inspiring since this would be the first time a plant will be grown on Mars," said Arno Wielders, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Mars One.
Mars One said the 'Seed' aims to germinate the first seed on Mars in order to contribute to the development of life support systems and provide a deeper understanding of plant growth on Mars.
The payload [the carrying capacity of an aircraft or launch vehicle] will consist of an external container, which provides protection from the harsh environment, and interior container, which will hold several seed cassettes.The seeds will stem from the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is commonly used in space plant studies.After landing, the seeds inside the cassette will be provided with conditions for germination and seedling growth. The growth will then be recorded using images transmitted back to Earth.
"We are really pleased to be the selected project among so many excellent ideas. We are thrilled to be the first to send life to Mars! This will be a great journey that we hope to share with you all!" said Teresa Araujo, Seed team member.
'Seed' consists of four bioengineering students from the University of Porto and two PhD students from MIT Portugal and the University of Madrid.