Amersfoort, December 1st, 2016 - Mars One is pleased to welcome Dr. ir. Wieger Wamelink to its advisory board. Dr. ir. Wamelink is a senior ecologist at Wageningen Environmental Science at Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands). He has made significant scientific contributions to the understanding of the possibilities of using Martian soil for food production on Mars, a key component of the Mars One mission.
Wamelink leads the Food for Mars and Moon team that started experimenting with growing plants on NASA’s Mars and moon soil simulants in 2012. Dr. Wamelink says: “The food for Mars project was started to provide initiatives like Mars One information necessary to plan for sufficient fresh food production for future human Martians. We see this as one of the key-challenges to be able to establish a permanent settlement on Mars.”
Before Wamelink's research in 2012, there had been no similar large-scale experiments completed anywhere in the world. One of the potential challenges with Martian soil is the toxic heavy metals it contains. Prior to Wamelink’s research, it was unknown if these metals would end up in the plants, making them poisonous for humans. The lack of biological material in the Martian soil and the lack of microbes and other organisms was also a concern. Not only did Wamelink’s team successfully grow ten different crops, the researchers tested four of the ten grown crops for heavy metals and found that these were safe to eat for humans. The successfully grown crops on Moon and Mars soil simulants were the main ingredients in a four-course dinner for the beneficiaries of this research.
Beyond those findings, Wamelink is also well-known for investigating the effect of adding biological material (cut up plants) to the soil and experimenting with replanting seeds grown on the Martian soil simulant. The results of the groundbreaking Food for Mars research were covered by media around the world, including publications such as Forbes, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. Dr. Wamelink has laid the foundation for future research on the topic, both for his own group's upcoming research and for research by others.
Bas Lansdorp, CEO and co-founder of Mars One: "Growing food locally is especially important to our mission of permanent settlement, as we have to ensure sustainable and healthy food production on Mars. The results of Dr. ir. Wamelink and his team at Wageningen University & Research are significant progress towards that goal, and we are honored that Wamelink has now officially joined our advisory board".
About Dr. ir. Wieger Wamelink
Wieger Wamelink has over 20 years of experience in experimental, field and modelling ecology after graduating as a plant breeder with speciality of plant physiology. He has (co-) authored more than 150 scientific publications and has appeared in many tv and radio shows and in many newspapers and other media. Wieger Wamelink collaborates with other departments within Wageningen University & Research including the department of Mars One adviser Prof. Dr. Leo Marcelis. Wieger Wamelink’s Food for Mars team collaborates with US based Two Planet Steel to run complementary experiments on regolith to advance both Martian food-growing and steel-making.
For more information about the Food for Mars experiments, please go to community.mars-one.com/blog/category/wieger-wamelink
Photos of the Mars Moon experiments can be found here: facebook.com/pg/Food.for.Mars.and.moon/photos
For more information about the project Food & Steel for Mars, please go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/966208618/project-food-and-steel-settling-mars-saving-earth
About Mars One
Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Before carefully selected and trained crews will depart to Mars, several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement waiting for the first astronauts to arrive.
Mars One consists of two entities: the Dutch not-for-profit Mars One Foundation and a British public limited company Mars One Ventures PLC (Mars One Ventures). The Mars One Foundation implements, and manages the mission and owns the mission hardware. It also selects and trains the crews, and is building an ever growing community of experts and supporters that follow the progress of the mission and contribute to it.
Mars One Ventures holds the exclusive monetization rights around the Mars One mission. There are many revenue possibilities around the mission to Mars: merchandise, ads on video content, broadcasting rights, partnerships, Intellectual Property, events, games, apps, and many more.
For more information about Mars One, please visit www.mars-one.com.