Folks with green thumbs are beginning to dust off their trowels for the upcoming gardening season with plans to dig in the earth close to home.
NASA might have similar aspirations, though their vegetable plot will likely be out of this world compared to the backyard gardeners you know.
According to Space.com, NASA researchers want to build a greenhouse on Mars in 2021.
Heather Smith, of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, told audience members at the Humans 2 Mars conference held last week in Washington, D.C., about the proposal:
"In order to do a long-term, sustainable base on Mars, you would want to be able to establish that plants can at least grow on Mars," she said. "This would be the first step in that ? we just send the seeds there and watch them grow."
In January, Dutch researchers revealed food plants would be able to grow in Martian soil.
The next rover is scheduled to depart for Mars in 2020, so researchers have about six years to pore through seed catalogs and to convince the people in charge that a farm-to-table program for future residents of the Red Planet is worth it.
So which vegetable seeds should be blasted out into space? Tomatoes, eggplants, carrots? How about some dinosaur kale?