Strange Science: Wine on Mars

Vineyard with two rows of vines flanking a narrow pathGeorgian scientists are experimenting with new ways to grow grapevines, with an eye toward eventual vineyards on Mars. As plans solidify for manned expeditions to Mars, some believe that colonies might not be too far in the future, and a number of companies and countries are looking for ways to contribute.

The country of Georgia has one of the oldest viticulture traditions in the world, dating back 8,000 years or more. As such, they want to be at the forefront of introducing grapevines to Mars, and are currently undertaking studies involving not only grapes, but also strawberries and arugula. They have constructed a vertical greenhouse that will simulate the conditions on Mars, and they’ll see how various plants do under those conditions.

As for the actual winemaking, that may take longer. But the Georgian scientists hope they’ll have some results by 2022, in advance of the first manned missions to Mars. Then, as with many crops, it will simply be a matter of waiting to see what works! And for wine, the vines will need at least three years before they’ll produce grapes suitable for wine. Then a whole new round of experimentation begins!

You can read more about this experiment here!

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