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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Can we grow things on Mars?

The first such planet humans will probably want to land on will be Mars, so scientists are now considering how to best prepare the red planet for human colonization. If humans are going to live on the surface of other planets, they're going to need a steady supply of food (among other things). Sending regular supply ships would be costly and inefficient, so now scientists are seriously considering how we might grow food on the surface of Mars by creating an ecosystem that can sustain plant life.

The Mars Ecopoiesis Test Bed project has received $100,000 for further research through NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts office. The idea is to create a robotically-controlled ecosystem on the Moon that simulates Mars' surface conditions. Eventually, the project will go on to use a probe-like device that will be shot into the surface of Mars. This device will be completely sealed from contamination, and release bacteria that can survive in extreme conditions.

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