We were working with the larger idea of a Mars Community Outreach Program that would inform and excite all earthlings about settling Mars, first with plants and then with humans. Under this large umbrella, we wanted to establish a connection between the Martian biome and the crew while in transit to Mars; build an Earth counterpart that would be visited by people as an immersive experience and have a one-to-one connection with the hardy martian plants; and start an online conversation that is accessible to a broader audience, with weekly updates about the mission, videos from the crew and the Mirasphere museum/gallery/monument.
After more research on plants, we have added components to our diverse "parfait." We now have the algae layer, the fungi and moss layer (which will help with aeration and drainage), and a green plant layer or houseplants and night-blooming cacti (lower-growing, hardy plants that can withstand harder conditions on Earth).
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