Fun piece from The New York Times on a group of students from Villanova University who found that hops, along with a few other food plants, could grow on Mars.
Here’s an interplanetary botany discovery that took college students and not NASA scientists to find: Hops — the flowers used to add a pleasant bitterness to beer — grow well in Martian soil.
“I don’t know if it’s a practical plant, but it’s doing fairly well,” said Edward F. Guinan, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Villanova University.
Last semester, 25 students took Dr. Guinan’s class on astrobiology, about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.
For the laboratory part of the course, the students became farmers, experimenting to see which crops might grow in Martian soil and feed future travelers there.
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