How Scientists Plan to Farm on Mars Mashable

In the coming decades, NASA has big plans for Mars, including intentions to blast a fifth rover onto the planet’s surface by 2020 and send a manned mission by 2030.
But long before humans step onto Mars’ barren terrain, scientists and researchers from around the world want to understand more about its potential to support human life. They’re especially interested in the possibility of growing plants on Mars, a more efficient process that would partially remove the need to ship expensive freeze-dried rations to the planet. Allowing crops to grow there that produce oxygen and scrub carbon dioxide there would make Mars a more livable environment.
“For a long-term settlement, there is probably no other option than growing food on Mars,” says Angelo Vermeulen, a Belgian artist and scientist who was the crew commander of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation Site (HI-SEAS), a six-person, NASA-funded team that spent four months last year on the hills of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii to study and experiment with ways to prepare foods on Mars.