China is planning to grow vegetables on Mars, it has been announced.

That's despite the country's expanding and ambitious - but young - space agency not having a permanent space station in orbit around the Earth - let alone the Moon or the Red Planet.

State media reported that successful tests have been completed in a Beijing lab to grow four kinds of veg in an "ecological life support system".

China apparently has a 300 cubic metre cabin in which its scientists are growing food, and producing water and air, which could be used during space missions to the Moon or even Mars.

The experiments are reminiscent of similar projects being undertaken by Nasa and private companies, with a view to establishing permanent human settlements on other worlds.

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