Chinese Veg from the Moon and Mars

In the not too distant future, the Chinese hope to be growing vegetables on the moon and/or on Mars as part of their astronauts’ life support system.

veg on Mars

Plans to grow and harvest vegetables on Mars

According to a report released to the media by China’s state press agency, Xinhau in December 2012, Chinese astronauts will soon be putting this plan into action following laboratory tests undertaken in Beijing. Only four types of veg will be grown initially, and all in what they term an “ecological life support system”. This is a cabin with a volume of 300 cubic meters that will enable Chinese astronauts to develop stocks of food, as well as air and water.

The Chinese Extra-Terrestrial Vegetable Experiment

In the experiment (which was undertaken in collaboration with German scientists), researchers successfully used this type of cabin (built in 2011) to provide enough air, food and water for two people. It is not clear how long they lived in the cabin, but they were able to grow veg and eat it to survive.

The system will rely on both algae and plants and is expected “to be used in extra-terrestrial bases” on the planet Mars or on the moon. This is the very first ever experiment of this kind undertaken in China.

The Long-Term Extra-Terrestrial Veggie Plan

According to Deng Yibing, deputy director of the Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Centre in Beijing, the idea is to ensure that astronauts are able to harvest their own fresh veggies to eat.

“Chinese astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extra-terrestrial bases in the future.”

It was only recently that the US decided to pull back on its manned activities in space, and China has not wasted any time in getting its part of the action. While China hasn’t yet put a man on the moon (like the USA) this Asian superpower is aiming to do so soon – probably in the second half of 2013. And supposedly that’s why they need fresh veg for their astronauts.

China’s first astronaut in space was Yang Liwei who was recently quoted as saying that there was a plan by Chinese astronauts to launch a branch of the country’s ruling Community Party in space. Serious or not, he was quoted as saying: “If we establish a party branch in space, it would also be the ‘highest’ of its kind in the world”.

In the meantime it’s a lot less effort growing good, wholesome vegetables in your own veggie garden.

Annette (58 Posts)

Annette Welsford has a partial degree in Horticulture and a Post Graduate Certificate in marketing. Having lived in the cold, temperate and hot parts of Australia and the UK, she has gained experience over the years with gardening in a variety of climates. Annette also worked for a fertilizer company where she was responsible for developing, editing and publishing a range of technical manuals on nutrition and fungal diseases for a wide range of horticultural crops including tomatoes. Annette is Managing Director of Commonsense Marketing Pty Ltd, a publishing and marketing company, responsible for the editing, design and worldwide marketing of the How to Grow books, and other products. Commonsense Marketing also provides expert offline and online marketing consulting and design services to a variety of small to medium sized businesses.


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