[ we make science jokes, periodically ]

Plant the Moon and Mars Challenge Kicks Off



We've kicked off the Plant the Moon and Mars Challenge! 

First things first: we chose Mars! 

The primary focus of our experiment centers on mycorrhizal fungi, a group recognized for fostering plant growth through symbiotic relationships. Team Coach, Justin Decker elucidates, "We're probing a fundamental aspect of plant growth—can ubiquitous symbiotic plant fungi thrive in the desolate Martian regolith?"

The experiment involves systematically varying the amount of Martian regolith from 50% to 100%, with the remainder comprising standard organic potting soil. Decker emphasizes the meticulous control of variables, stating, "We're carefully controlling the variables to understand the relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and Martian regolith."

Despite unexpected challenges, such as the formation of Martian mud when minimal water transforms the regolith, Coach Decker maintains a positive outlook. "Every scientific journey has its challenges. Our students aren't just learning about plants and planets; they're learning problem-solving and adaptability," he notes.

The emergence of sprouts in the 100%, 65%, and 80% regolith pots brings optimism for the upcoming weeks, holding the promise of insights into Martian agriculture. SteamRocket invites everyone to follow their scientific odyssey on social media, stating, "We're eager to share the excitement and discoveries with everyone, providing a front-row seat to authentic scientific research."

As Week One concludes, we're excited to push the boundaries of space-inspired education, igniting curiosity, and inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers.