DENVER (CBS4) – Crew members on board the International Space Station will sample the first food ever grown, harvested and eaten in space.

NASA says it’s more than just a gardening experiment, it’s also a critical step on the path to living on Mars.

High school students in Colorado contributed to the experiment. Back in April a group from Warren Tech and Lakewood High School watched from Cape Canaveral as their experimental hydrofuge blasted into orbit.

The hydrofuge design helped NASA solve a problem. It moves water away from the roots of the plants so it doesn’t smother and drown them. Unfortunately their experiment had a mechanical failure during the tests but they still believe the concept works.