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This Red Greenhouse Grows Veggies for Mars

Image: Scientists Hope To Grow Salad In Space
Engineer Daniel Schubert holds lettuce at the German Aerospace Center in Bremen. Scientists and engineers from the center are developing greenhouses for a potential Mars colony. David Hecker / Getty Images

Researchers are pioneering menus for Mars by growing vegetables under hot-pink lights in an experimental greenhouse in Germany.

The project is being conducted by engineer Daniel Schubert and his colleagues at the German Aerospace Center in Bremen. Lettuce, cucumbers and other vegetables bask in the light provided by Heliospectra's LED system. The plan is to create an environmentally closed food production system, where urine is recycled to produce fertilizer.

A prototype Mars-style greenhouse is due to get a nine-month tryout at Germany's Neumayer Station III in Antarctica during the 2016-2017 research season. Greenhouses for growing plants in space are already being tested during simulated Mars missions in Utah and Hawaii, and even on the International Space Station.

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Image: Lettuce
Engineer Daniel Schubert holds up a head of lettuce that was grown under artificial light at the German Aerospace Center in Bremen. David Hecker / Getty Images