Those vying to be among the first to travel to Mars later this century may need skills outside of typical astronaut training to complete their mission – like a green thumb.

Stocking astronauts with enough food to last what scientists believe would be a five-year round-trip mission is one of the largest challenges facing the first manned missions to Mars, said Maya R. Cooper while addressing an audience at the 242nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society.