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‘Seed’ Wins Right to Send First Living Organisms to Mars

The Portuguese team, Seed, won the right to send first living organisms to the red planet Mars, declared the Mars One Dutch non-profit foundation on Tuesday.

The competition Mars One was won by the team of young scientists from the northern Portuguese city of Porto, 300 km north of capital Lisbon the competition based on an online public vote that ended Dec 31, 2014. Seed was one of the 35 teams in the competition.

The proposed experiment by the students of Seed team to germinate seeds will be sent to Mars on the Mars One Lander mission in 2018 on a 10-month voyage. The experiment is intended to prove that it is possible to sustain life on Mars in a controlled environment. It is as a part of the Mars One mission to establish a human settlement there in 2025.

Meanwhile, the U.S. space agency NASA also has plans to send plants to the planet whereas the Mars One voyage is expected to complete its mission before two years or more. Earlier, NASA’s “VEGGIE” program has successfully grown lettuce on the ISS using pink LED lamps.

As per reports, Daniel Carvalho, one of the scientists who designed the project, mentioned it as a great opportunity. He said, “It’s excellent and a unique opportunity, as it will be the first time life has been taken to Mars, but also, because of that, the responsibility and concern is greater.”

However, in the similar university project, to be selected for potential inclusion in the payload for the Mars One landing in 2018, a team of British students had emerged with a vision of growing lettuce in Mars. The seven students from the University of Southampton Spaceflight Society have planned to market it as #LettuceOnMars.

The team of students had also designed a greenhouse that could travel with the Mars One Lander in 2018 and grow lettuce on the planet’s surface. Lettuce has been chosen to grow in Mars because “it’s edible, space-efficient, has durable seeds and is already cultivated in space,” said the team in their website.


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