Could we ACTUALLY grow potatoes on Mars? | OVERTHINKING The Martian

From Dr. Becky.

Visit to get started learning STEM for free, and the first 200 people will get 20% off their annual premium subscription.

00:00 – Introduction
01:07 – Is it possible to grow crops in Martian soil?
03:23 – Is human waste as a fertiliser a good idea? (NOPE)
07:16 – What about Mars’ different gravity?
11:30 – Outro
11:52 – Brilliant
14:50 – Bloopers

Fackrell et al. (2020; martian simulant soils) –
Ramîrez et al. (2017; potatoes grown in martian soils) –
Wieger Wamelink et al. (2014; crops grown in martian and lunar soils) –
Mancinelli & Banin (2003; where is the nitrogen on Mars?) –
Foley et al. (2003; Mars Pathfinder finds no nitrogen) –
Giroux et al. (2000; the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse) –
Ferl & Paul (2016; auxin in plants grown on the ISS) –
Kamal et al. (2018; micro-gravity and plant cell damage) –

Teacher’s guide to growing plants in martian analog soil:

Buy your own martian analog soil:

👕 My new merch is available here (with worldwide shipping!):

📚 Pre-order my new book, "A Brief History of Black Holes", out 1st September 2022 (USA & Canada hardback out 1st November 2022):

🎧 Royal Astronomical Society Podcast that I co-host:

🔔 Don’t forget to subscribe and click the little bell icon to be notified when I post a new video!

👩🏽‍💻 I’m Dr. Becky Smethurst, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford (Christ Church). I love making videos about science with an unnatural level of enthusiasm. I like to focus on how we know things, not just what we know. And especially, the things we still don’t know. If you’ve ever wondered about something in space and couldn’t find an answer online – you can ask me! My day job is to do research into how supermassive black holes can affect the galaxies that they live in. In particular, I look at whether the energy output from the disk of material orbiting around a growing supermassive black hole can stop a galaxy from forming stars.