Agence France Presse
Published — Wednesday 5 December 2012
Last update 4 December 2012 9:33 pm
BEIJING: Chinese astronauts are preparing to grow fresh vegetables on Mars and the moon after researchers successfully completed a preliminary test in Beijing, state media reported.
Four kinds of vegetables were grown in an “ecological life support system,” a 300 cubic meter cabin which will allow astronauts to develop their own stocks of air, water and food while on space missions, Xinhua news agency said Monday. The system, which relies on plants and algae, is “expected to be used in extra-terrestrial bases on the moon or Mars,” the report said.
Participants in the experiment could “harvest fresh vegetables for meals,” Xinhua quoted Deng Yibing, a researcher at Beijing’s Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center, as saying. “Chinese astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extra-terrestrial bases in the future,” the report said, adding that the experiment was the first of its kind in China.