**ESTABLISHING a human colony on the Moon and travelling to Mars has been the stuff of dreams since the dawn of the space age.
But these visions face many hurdles. How can humans survive for months or years in the ultra-hostile environment of space? What, for instance, will they eat?
Agricultural researchers at a Dutch university say they are taking the first steps towards providing an answer.
They are growing vegetables in soils similar to those found on the Moon and Mars, looking for ways of helping space pioneers grow their own crops.
“When people go to the Moon and Mars they also have to eat, and it’s easiest for them to grow their own food,” said Wieger Wamelink, surrounded by several dozen plants in a special greenhouse at Wageningen, an agricultural university in central Netherlands.**
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