What historical advancements in bioremediation and space exploration have enabled Martian Mycrops?
The practice of amending soil began in ancient civilizations, which used crop rotation and composting to add nutrients and improve plant health
Scientists first observed microbial degradation of pollutants—the process of microorganisms breaking down pollutants into less harmful substances—in the 1930s
In the 1960s and 70s, NASA paved the way for the exploration of Mars through the launch of Viking 1 and 2.
Bioremediation using bacteria became more widespread in the 1980s as concerns over pollution and environmental degradation grew
In the 1990s, perchlorate was recognized as a significant contaminant in the US, occurring as a byproduct of fuel production
Dissimilatory perchlorate reduction became more understood in the 2000s, building on previous understanding of microbial degredation
A new wave of potential research on Martian colonization began in the 2010s with the Mars Ecopoiesis Test Bed—a proposal to sustain life on Mars
Combined, advancements in bioremediation, an improved scientific understanding of dissimilatory perchlorate-reducing bacteria, and previous proposals for sustaining a colony on Mars have enabled our new technology to reduce perchlorate concentration in Martian regolith.