Regolith simulant

“Martian” Potatoes are shooting up!

The potatoes I am growing a la “The Martian” book/film style using Martian Regolith stimulant (sort of) given to me by RAG last year on my 50th birthday are now shooting up. As per the book I had to find something to mimic the Martian soil (earth from under the foundation’s of the new Peter Bolas Observatory at Rosliston Forestry Centre was given to me on my birthday for this purpose – the Regolith simulant) and an alternative to human faeces for organic matter which is probably not legal and certainly rather disgusting if used in my back garden….manure from the local garden centre was pulled into service here.


Growing potatoes in Rosliston Martian Regolith Simulant

i turned 50 towards the end of last year and at the following RAG meeting our secretary Heather Lomas presented me with a tray of “Rosliston Martian Regolith Simulant” as a birthday present from the club. This particular Regolith simulant is very special as it is material from beneath the foundations of the new Peter Bolas Observatory on site that looks like it might have come from Mars! Of course no one knows exactly what Martian Regolith is like so for our purposes this material from beneath the forestry centre’s topsoil is good enough! I was quite excited to get such a historical present, remembering the foundation (pun intended) of our new observatory as well as giving me a chance to follow in the steps of the hero in the book “The Martian”. The Martian is a 2011 science fiction novel written by Andy Weir. It was his debut novel under his own name. The story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars in the year 2035, and must improvise in order to survive. The Martian, a film adaptation directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, was released in October 2015.

In the story, Mark survives by growing potatoes in soil made from Martian Regolith and mixed with human faeces – the latter I do not intend to do so I will need to find an alternative….


Present from RAG:

Flexible container (foldable as I would of course need if I was going to Mars..) for growing potatoes….

Seed potatoes (3 small potatoes left over from last Sunday lunch) – put into egg box to force them to sprout read for planting in Rosliston Martian Regolith next month!

For the faecal element I need something like this….

Present from Heather and Dave to Andrew for his 50th birthday – the inky ever produced RAG Martian Regolith Simulant Material

I turned 50 this week and Heather and Dave presented me with a present when I arrived at the RAG meeting on Friday night. Having watched the movie, “The Martian”, I expresses the desire to grow my potatoes in my own Martian soil, similar to the main character in the film. He is stranded on Mars and needs to grow his own food there.

Heather and Dave’s present consisted of a tray of sandy Martian-like soil from ca. 1m down under the Peter Bolas Observatory now bring built at Rosliston Forestry Centre for RAG.

Pictures below!

Watch this blog for what will happen next to the simulant….