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Say What? NASA Wants to Grow Human Body Parts on Mars

NASA, together with the Methuselah Foundation’s New Organ Alliance non-profit group, has launched a contest to create human skin tissue for survival in space.

The Vascular Tissue Challenge, aimed at pushing biomedical engineering forward, is offering a $500,000 prize to be shared between the first three teams to create a 1cm-thick, metabolically-functional vascularized sheet of human tissue that can be artificially controlled inside a laboratory. It’s necessary that the tissue maintain at least an 86-percent survival rate of its cells over a one-month period.

“The humans who will be our deep space pioneers are our most important resource on the journey to Mars and beyond,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA.

The results of the competition will help study health risks during long missions in space and minimize negative effects of deep space travel on future astronauts.


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