Pre-packaged food rations may not be adequate to sustain the first manned mission to mars, scientists claim. Experts believe that kitchen vegetable gardens will give the crew a healthier diet and produce more oxygen onboard.
Supplying food for the ambitious NASA manned-Mission to mars set in 2030 will take a lot of planning, and require a variety of horticultural experts and chefs, according to Dr. Maya Cooper, of NASA's Space Food System Laboratory.
More than 7,000 pounds of food would be required for the 5-year flight to the red planet, she said, the Mail Online reported.
Experts believe that one solution would be for the astronauts to grow their own high tech kitchen garden, including 10 prime candidates: lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, spring onions, radishes, peppers, strawberries, herbs and cabbage.
'We need new approaches, Cooper said speaking at the American Chemical Society in Denver.
Right now, we are looking at the possibility of implementing a bio-regenerative system that would involve growing crops in space and possibly shipping some bulk commodities to a Mars habitat as well.
According to Cooper the scenario involves much more food processing and meal preparation than the current food system developed for the space shuttles and the International Space Station.
The Bio-regenerative systems will involve growing a set of multi task plants that will not only better the nutrition of the crew but that will help the astronauts breathe better by removing the carbon dioxide they exhale, and purify the water.
According to the Mail online, in the past astronauts have been able to breakfast on scrambled egg and coffee, snack on chocolates or brownies, and choose from lunch and dinner menus that include dishes such as Chicken a la King and rice pilaf.