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Ammonia can be used in the production of fertilizer, as a source for nitrogen in soil for plants, in this case for food.

Synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen can be done with the help of bacteria using the process of Nitrogen Fixation in a bioreactor, the classic Haber process, and by other Ambient nitrogen reduction process based on catalysis.

Has there been any discussion or research into the synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen on Mars, possibly addressing some of the limitations of doing it there?

It's understood that one obstacle would of course be the sourcing of the nitrogen to begin with.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not clear what you mean by "using nitrogen fixation on Mars for plant growth". Do you mean that ammonia could be used to make fertilizer, or that nitrogen fixing could be used to make ammonia? $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Jul 13 '17 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ For making ammonia for plants to grow. $\endgroup$ – rmza7 Jul 13 '17 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not clear what you mean by "Does NASA plan..." :) What I mean is that NASA explores an extremely wide range of possibilities for both near-term and farther down the line technology to see what's possible. They don't need a firm plan to use something just to do exploratory or feasibility studies. Also the "planning" is a joint effort between NASA and other parts of the government which can be unpredictable at times. I'm going to re-word your question a little bit, if you don't like it, you can click the "edited" button and select "roll back". $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 14 '17 at 4:58
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    $\begingroup$ @mza7 when responding, it's better to clarify by modifying the wording of your question than to respond in comments. The idea is that questions are best when they can stand on their own, since comments should be thought of as temporary, with unpredictable half-lives. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 14 '17 at 5:15

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