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Russian scientists intend to grow vegetables in Antarctica

Moscow, Jan 13 (Prensa Latina) Researchers at the Vostok Antarctic base intend to grow watermelons and cucumbers this year, as reported by the Institute of Arctic and Antarctic Studies (AARI by its acronym in Russian).

The director of AARI, Aleksander Makarov, told Sputnik agency, that Russian scientists are currently cultivating 58 species of plants in soils artificially created at the station, but for the first time they will undertake the planting of watermelons and cucumbers.

Makarov specified that the study of artificial soils is carried out jointly with the Institutes of Agrophysical Studies and the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems.

According to the researcher, Russian scientists at the Vostok base phytotechnic center have achieved quite high yield rates, twice the average for modern greenhouses with hydroponics, artificial lighting and controlled microclimate.

Founded in 1957, the Vostok base is one of seven Antarctic facilities currently operated by Russia, and it is the only one located in the interior of the continent, more than a thousand kilometers away from the coast.