New exhibit on Mars’ soil at World Soil Museum begins Sept 13

Share on: 07 Sep 2023

On the surface of Mars, can we call the loose material covering the Red Planet ‘soil’? What are its characteristics compared to Earth’s soil and could it ever host human life? These questions are the basis of a new temporary exhibit at the ISRIC World Soil Museum which begins on Wednesday, September 13 called Red Planet Regolith: All about the fine dust that covers Mars.

Many people are curious about the environment on Mars. In the world’s leading Mars exploration program, NASA aims to assess the “biological potential” for Mars to host life and to prepare for future exploration by humans. In Wageningen there is also research being done into the possibilities of growing plants on Mars' surface.  For envisioning settlement on Mars, crop production is essential. What is the nature of the surface material (Mars’ soil) and can it be a suitable substrate for crops? What are the similarities and differences with soils and regolith on Earth? Join us in exploring the interplanetary research focused on the surface of planet Mars.

Surface of Mars Photo credit: NASA

 The Red Planet Regolith: All about the fine dust that covers Mars exhibit runs from September 13 until December 1. To view it, visit the World Soil Museum in Gaia Building on the Wageningen University and Research Campus during regular open hours, Wednesdays from 13.30-17.00. In order to request a group tour outside of normal open hours, use this form.