On the Leading Edge of Human Exploration with the
Mars Greenhouse Project
The Greening of the Red Planet through Controlled Environment Agriculture
Survival on Mars depends upon the creation of a robust infrastructure that will provide food and oxygen to the people living there. We will need advanced greenhouse and indoor sustainable agriculture technologies and processes to enable future colonists to survive, and thrive, on the Red Planet. The advances in In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) will provide the necessary technologies. We need to invest now in those technologies and building the capabilities on Earth that will be easily transferable to Mars, when the time comes.
Robotic Precursor Mars Greenhouse Experiment Module (Mars GEM)
The Mars Greenhouse Experiment Module, Mars GEM, has been a dream of the founders of Agate Biosciences since 1997. Both scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they embraced the idea that Mars GEM could pave the way for Martian agriculture and, ultimately -- the production of food and oxygen for astronaut colonists on Mars. In 1997, they first proposed the greenhouse for a human precursor "mission to Mars" project to NASA. It was planned for a human precursor mission that would have tested several new capabilities in advance of sending astronauts there. Although the entire human precursor Mars mission was canceled before Mars GEM could fly, the dream of starting agriculture on Mars carried on. The founders could not give up on the dream of the "Greening of the Red Planet."
Today that dream is alive and well -- with hopes that new partnerships will enable Martian Agriculture to be established and ready for food production as soon as we are ready to launch astronauts to the Red Planet.