1. Angus Walker

Chinese astronauts 'preparing to grow vegetables on Mars'

Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut Credit: China Daily China Daily Information Corp - CDIC / Reuters

Chinese state media is reporting that China's astronauts have been preparing to grow vegetables on Mars.

Staff at Beijing's Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Centre told the Xinhua press agency that four kinds of vegetables which could be grown in "extra terrestrial bases on the moon or Mars" have been tested in a specially developed green house, which can also produce air for the crew.

Earlier this year the country's rapidly developing space programme saw the successful docking of space station prototypes and the first Chinese female astronaut in orbit.

The aim is to have a Chinese man or woman on the moon and a completed, operating space station by the end of the decade.