NASA scientists want to get humans to Mars. Researchers are trying to find out what plants can grow on Mars. They hope astronauts will grow their own food on the Red Planet. Getting to Mars could take two-and-a-half years. The astronauts will need a lot of food for the journey. They can never come back to Earth. This means they will need to grow their own food from seeds. This could be a problem because Mars doesn't have good soil. It just has red dust.
Humans could be on Mars in the next 15 years. NASA has been testing "Martian gardens" using a soil made of volcanic dust. It has no nutrients or organic material, so it is similar to Mars dust. The scientists grew lettuce in it and it tasted normal. The lettuce had weaker roots and took longer to grow. NASA said testing 'Martian gardens' on Earth would help to develop ways of growing food on Mars in the future.