On Mars, clothes and buildings will be grown from mushrooms
This mushroom brick could replace concrete
The European Space Agency (Esa) and NASA plan to literally grow clothes, buildings and others objects of Martian colonies from spores of special mushrooms and waste. Technology will help solve several problems at once and reduce supply costs.
Residents of future space settlements will face limited resources and difficulties in their extraction. therefore researchers interested in the opportunity application biomaterials in quality bases for the creation of various objects and household items of the colonists. Currently they are actively studying prospects for the use of mycelium (roots and stems of the fungus), which the creates thread-like structures intertwined with the base on which they grow, forming a sufficiently strong material.
Mycelium has amazing properties. It is an excellent recycler that can feed on agricultural waste, sawdust and even sweat. Having created the necessary conditions, his growth can make unlimited. Such biomaterial is able to withstand more stress than concrete, is an good insulator, fireproof and can protect against cosmic radiation. For cessation of growth, it is enough to heat the substrate to 70 °FROM.
Examples of mycelium products.
Esa and NASA are primarily attracted by the economic side of the issue. Transporting materials from Earth to Mars is costly. Shipping cost for 1 kg of cargo is now $ 22 thous., and the extraction of resources on the red planet is not only expensive but also very complicated process. In parallel, it is necessary to resolve the issue of waste disposal. therefore mycelium in the the moment is the most appropriate option in several areas of research at once.
Biomaterial clothing was first introduced by designer Liz Ciocailo in 2016 year. Then she was joined by engineer Maurizio Montalti, who works with the European Space Agency. Together they developed the technology and already released women’s shoes and various types coverings from mycelium. Team plans to create biomaterial-based 3D printing device. Researchers say the technology can be used even in spaceships and find dozens of different uses.
Mycelium boot with 3D plastic sole.
Although in the early stages of colonization, mining will be unprofitable, but as the infrastructure develops, the situation will begin to change. After for own needs, Mars will be able supply minerals and food to the land. Some of the them will become rare components of rocket fuel (perchlorates), which are naturally formed there in 10 million times more than on Earth.
text: Ilya Bauer, a photo: Esa, George Ellsworth, Caskia / Growing a MarsBoot, f64.space