Here's a real head scratcher: How do you feed a crew of six to eight astronauts on a mission to Mars that will last almost three years? It's a question NASA is working at already, even though the mission won't happen for at least another 10 to 15 years, reports the AP. But the prospect of sustaining a crew for so long brings plenty of opportunities for food pioneering—like a "Martian greenhouse" where crew members would grow their own fresh fruits and veggies (in mineral-laden water, not Martian soil).
At the International Space Station, NASA is able to deliver regular shipments of freeze-dried foods, but that won't be possible on the Mars mission. On the flip side, astronauts at the ISS are limited by the lack of gravity, but Mars has a small gravitational pull, making chopping and food preparation a possibility. Scientists say this is a good thing, as fresh, prepared food is more nutritious than freeze-dried, and a variety of food options will make life easier. Scientists have already planned about 100 vegan menu items—since dairy and meat have such short shelf lives—including a cheeseless Thai pizza covered in veggies and a spicy sauce.