Georgia promotes itself as the world’s birthplace of wine. So it seems only natural that the country is trying to figure out what varietal might be sipped one day on Mars.
That is the thinking behind the IX Millennium project, which is seeking to develop grapevines fit for the possible Red Planet agriculture pods. The team also wants to put a Georgian stamp on one of the more unusual research fronts related to a dreamed-of Mars colony.
But it’s definitely not without merits.
The research may help answer questions about radiation, dust and other challenges for life-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?
“If we’re going to live on Mars one day, Georgia needs to contribute. Our ancestors brought wine to Earth, so we can do the same to Mars,” said Nikoloz Doborjginidze, founder of Georgia’s Space Research Agency and an adviser to the Ministry of Education and Science, which is part of the wine project.