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Washington Post: Georgian Scientists to Find the Perfect Grape for Mars

10-Jan-2019

Washington Post

For thousands of years and a number of centuries, Earth has been explored in depth and numerous discoveries have been made about it. However, with the voracious need in human nature to seek out novelties, the investigation process of another planet, Mars, is now well underway.

The Washington Post has dedicated a thorough article, titled “White Wine on the Red Planet? Scientists in Georgia are Hunting for the Perfect Martian Grape”, to the study carried out to launch agriculture on Mars. As Georgia is considered to be the ‘cradle’ of viniculture and the world’s birthplace of wine, a consortium comprising Georgian scientists and entrepreneurs has commenced studies for developing grapevines that could be assimilated on Mars.

The given research will be valuable for understanding more about radiation, dust and other challenges for sustaining agriculture on Mars. “And after all, who wouldn’t want a glass of Martian wine to welcome a new year (687 Earth days long) on a new planet?”- the Washington Post asks.

The Georgian team plans to embark on experiments on vine selections planted in Mars-like soil, and aims to launch an initial "vertical" farming lab in one of the hotels in the capital city of Georgia – Tbilisi.

The final answer about which type of grape will be the most suitable for cultivation on Mars is expected to be revealed in 2022. However, there are already a number of suggestions circulating, with Georgian scientists claiming white grapes will grow best in Martian soil.

“Whites tend to be more resistant to viruses, so I’d imagine they’d do well against radiation, too. Their skin could reflect it,” Levan Ujmajuridze, director of the country’s Vineyard Laboratory, told the Washington Post.

Rkatsiteli is considered as one of the candidate grapes for Mars.

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