A round trip to Mars can take over two years to complete. That’s a lot of food to pack! To make things a little easier, scientists are trying to find ways for astronauts to grow their own crops on Mars.
Simulated Martian Gardens are helping researchers to determine what the challenges are in growing vegetables and other crops, and how to overcome them. One of the problems potential Mars farmers face is the fact that the soil on Mars consists of volcanic rock with no organic materials at all, so researchers have to determine the proper level of nutrients that need to be added to the soil before crops can grow. By creating a Martian soil simulant, researchers hope to test a variety of crops such as tomatoes, Swiss chard, kale and radishes, among others, to see how they fare.
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