While Elon Musk's engineers are figuring out how to get to Mars, some of us want to know what we're going to eat when we get there.
The first inhabitants of the Red Planet will probably have to import most (if not all) of their food from Earth, and it is probably safe to say that they will not eat cheeseburgers.
In a new article, planetary scientists at the University of Central Florida examined what would be on the menu for one million Martians and dealt with the logistics of their nutrition. A study published in New Space found that it would take 1
SpaceX of Musk plans to launch missions to Mars as early as 2024 in the hope that humans will colonize the planet. Mars food production would be necessary to support people who live there permanently, but plants cannot be grown outdoors on the planet. The product could potentially be grown in tunnels, but people need to build 14,500 kilometers of tunnel segments to have enough production to feed one million people, according to the report.
The document establishes that livestock farming on Mars will not occur at any time or because of the impracticality of transporting them through space. But possible alternatives could include insect farming and cellular farming, which involves the production of protein-based food in a laboratory.
The scientists who wrote the paper built a computer model to calculate the nutritional needs of humans living on Mars if the population grew to one million. The model, which was based on caloric needs and land requirements, finds that if food is not produced locally, more than 194,000 transport vessels will be needed to bring food from Earth in the first 100 years. If the produce is locally grown, more than 50,000 ships will still be needed to deliver packaged food during this time until the new civilization becomes self-sufficient.
Scientists at Washington State University recently announced in a separate study  that they had found a way to extend the shelf life of pasta and cheese by up to three years. Since it takes about Mars to take about seven months, this may be a good option for those who do not want to eat bugs.