Could vegetables grow on Mars?

Last updated at 15:03
Mars vegetablesWieger Wamelink Wageningen University

Tomatoes, peas, radish and other vegetables have been successfully grown by researchers in the Netherlands, in soil thought to be like Martian dirt.

The team wanted to find out what could we grown if humans try to live on Mars in the future.

Although they didn't have real Martian soil, they used dirt supplied by Nasa, which was taken from a Hawaiian volcano that's thought to be very similar.

Mars vegetablesWieger Wamelink Wageningen University

They expect that food on Mars would be need to be grown in greenhouses, or even underground, to protect them from extreme conditions on the surface.

The team managed to grow more vegetables than they'd expected, suggesting that it really could be possible to support life on the Red Planet.

Mars surfaceGetty Images
The dry, rocky surface of mars isn't ideal for gardening

But there's still a long way to go - no one ate the experimental vegetables, because substances in the soil including arsenic and mercury might have made them poisonous.

Now the team are trying to find a way to grow vegetables that are safe to eat.

Photos courtesy of Wageningen University