Heavy payloads in future shuttle journeys to Mars present limiting factors, making self-sustenance essential for future colonies. Therefore, in situ resources utilization (ISRU) is the path to successful and feasible space voyages. This research frames the concept of planting leafy vegetables on Mars regolith simulant, ameliorating this substrate’s fertility by the addition of organic residues produced in situ. For this purpose, two butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata) cultivars (green and red Salanova®) were chosen to be cultivated in four dierent mixtures of MMS-1 Mojave Mars simulant:compost (0:100, 30:70, 70:30 and 100:0; v:v) in a phytotron open gas exchange growth chamber. The impact of compost rate on both crop performance and the nutritive value of green- and red-pigmented cultivars was assessed. The 30:70 mixture proved to be optimal in terms of crop performance, photosynthetic activity, intrinsic water use eciency and quality traits of lettuce. In particular, red Salanova® showed the best performance in terms of these quality traits, registering 32% more phenolic content in comparison to 100% simulant. Nonetheless, the 70:30 mixture represents a more realistic scenario when taking into consideration the sustainable use of compost as a limited resource in space farming, while still accepting a slight significant decline in yield and quality in comparison to the 30:70 mixture.

Mars Regolith Simulant Ameliorated by Compost as In Situ Cultivation Substrate Improves Lettuce Growth and Nutritional Aspects

Duri L. G.;El-Nakhel Christophe;Caporale A. G.
;
Ciriello M.;Graziani G.;Pannico A.;Palladino M.;Ritieni A.;De Pascale S.;Vingiani S.;Adamo P.;Rouphael Y.
2020

Abstract

Heavy payloads in future shuttle journeys to Mars present limiting factors, making self-sustenance essential for future colonies. Therefore, in situ resources utilization (ISRU) is the path to successful and feasible space voyages. This research frames the concept of planting leafy vegetables on Mars regolith simulant, ameliorating this substrate’s fertility by the addition of organic residues produced in situ. For this purpose, two butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata) cultivars (green and red Salanova®) were chosen to be cultivated in four dierent mixtures of MMS-1 Mojave Mars simulant:compost (0:100, 30:70, 70:30 and 100:0; v:v) in a phytotron open gas exchange growth chamber. The impact of compost rate on both crop performance and the nutritive value of green- and red-pigmented cultivars was assessed. The 30:70 mixture proved to be optimal in terms of crop performance, photosynthetic activity, intrinsic water use eciency and quality traits of lettuce. In particular, red Salanova® showed the best performance in terms of these quality traits, registering 32% more phenolic content in comparison to 100% simulant. Nonetheless, the 70:30 mixture represents a more realistic scenario when taking into consideration the sustainable use of compost as a limited resource in space farming, while still accepting a slight significant decline in yield and quality in comparison to the 30:70 mixture.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/806172
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