UF Researchers Preparing To Send Life To Mars University of Florida

While the rest of the world waits to see whether one European Beagle 2 probe makes a successful Christmas-morning touchdown on Mars – followed by the American Mars Spirit and Mars Opportunity probes on Jan. 3 and Jan. 24 — researchers at the University of Florida are planning for future missions that could send life to Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. UF researchers are working on greenhouses that could allow plants to be grown on the Martian surface. If a manned base is ever established on Mars, such greenhouses could be vital in providing oxygen, water and food for the astronauts who live there. And in the shorter term, plants could be sent on an unmanned space probe to test the properties of Martian soil.