Mars is the next step in human space exploration. Rovers and scientific instruments are already on the surface of the Red Planet, measuring its atmosphere, soil and environmental conditions. These intrepid robots are providing vital info to NASA and other scientists who want humans to follow.

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One of the biggest challenges to putting humans on Mars is feeding them. Trips to Mars will take so long that they won’t be able to pack enough food to sustain themselves — they’ll have to grow their own.

But how do we grow food on another planet? Scientists, like Mike Dixon at the University of Guelph, are developing ways of doing it. He’s created a reliable life support system for plants that could allow astronauts to grow their own food as soon as they land.

Watch the video above for more on this story.

For more inventions, watch The Nature of Invention on The Nature of Things.

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