Farming On Mars: NASA Ponders Food Supply for 2030s Mission by Clara Moskowitz, Space.com
WASHINGTON —The first humans to live on Mars might not identify as astronauts, but farmers. To establish a sustainable settlement on Earth's system neighbor, space travelers will have to learn how to grow food on Mars — a job that could turn out to be one of the most vital, challenging and labor-intensive tasks at hand, experts say.
"One of the things that every gardener on the planet will know is producing food is hard — it is a non-trivial thing," Penelope Boston, director of the Cave and Karst Studies program at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, said yesterday (May 7) at the Humans 2 Mars Summit here at George Washington University. "Up until several hundred years ago it occupied most of us for most of the time."
NASA is actively engaged in researching how to farm on Mars and in space, as the agency is targeting its first manned Mars landing in the mid-2030s. And some NASA officials are wondering if that mission ought to be of long duration, rather than a short visit, given the difficulty of getting there and the possible benefits of an extended stay. "Sustained human presence — should that be our goal? I think that's a good discussion," Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said here Monday (May 6). Read More
See rocket scientists understand that the basics for sustaining life in the new space frontier. Have you stopped to think about food production research that is being done? It makes me wonder if some of the plants are also being genetically modified to suit the change they will need in order to grow on Mars.