Tuesday, February 4, 2020

"NASA says astronauts on the moon and Mars may grow their homes there out of mushrooms"

Is there anything they can't do?
From WTTV, Indianapolis:

Astronauts on the moon or Mars may be growing their homes, rather than building them, according to NASA.
Transporting habitats or even the materials for habitats that astronauts can safely inhabit during a lunar mission, or an extended stay on Mars, will be expensive. And they will likely take up a lot of space to shuttle them from one planet to another, when other valuable resources may be needed.

One of the projects at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California focuses on myco-architecture. This would allow for more organic habitats grown from fungi and the threads that comprise their architecture, known as mycelia. The project is part of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program that considers different aspects of life as technology.

“Right now, traditional habitat designs for Mars are like a turtle — carrying our homes with us on our backs — a reliable plan, but with huge energy costs,” said Lynn Rothschild, the principal investigator on the early-stage project. “Instead, we can harness mycelia to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there.”

Astronauts could bring a much more compact habitat made from lightweight materials embedded with fungi. These could survive long-term spaceflight and once the habitat was placed on the surface, all the astronauts would need to do is activate the fungi by adding water....