National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Greening Mars
Greening Mars
9 Jan 2004
(Source: NASA Headquarters)

Dolores Beasley
Headquarters, Washington
January 9, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-1753)

Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

RELEASE: 04-018


NASA-funded scientists are researching methods to address current issues and future needs for efficiently growing plants on Mars.

The research is being conducted in the specialized low- pressure and Mars-simulation chambers at the new state-of- the-art Space Life Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla.

The research data, featured on the cover of the January 2004 issue of the scientific journal Plant Physiology, focuses on using reduced pressure environments to increase the scientific and engineering benefits of plant growth experiments. The data indicates, with the currently available materials on Mars, a greenhouse structure could only be constructed if the internal pressure of the greenhouse was maintained below approximately one-sixteenth of Earth's atmospheric pressure.

"Since extraterrestrial colonies and space vehicles may well employ reduced atmospheric pressures to lower the time and engineering costs of missions, we now have the beginnings of an understanding of how those atmospheres will impact our long-term life support system," said Robert Ferl, director, Space Agriculture Biotechnology Research and Education, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Ferl is principal investigator for the project and author of the featured paper "Hypobaric Biology. Arabidopsis Gene Expression at Low Atmospheric Pressure." Research team members and co-authors include Anna-Lisa Paul and Mick Popp, University of Florida; and Andrew Schuerger, Dynamac Corp., KSC. For more information on space research, visit:

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 9 Jan 2004