Mars missions are still a far-fetched dream despite today’s technology. The Red Planet orbits too far from our Blue Home which makes astronauts need extensive resources even to reach their target. Therefore, NASA has to travel to the realm of odd ideas to make such a space trip remotely possible. Their latest proposal is to use human waste to achieve their goals. Astronauts will have to recycle urine and sweat for survival purposes.
Researchers Intend to Find a Way to Recycle Urine and Sweat into Bioplastics
While there are many uncertainties regarding the success of a Mars mission, one thing is for sure. Astronauts bound for the Red Planet will have to travel for months before they reach their main destination. Therefore, researchers at Clemson University have been testing different ways through which human waste can be used to the success of the mission.
Their main idea is to recycle urine and sweat that will accumulate in large quantities over trip to Mars. The molecules from these substances can actually be turned into plastic. Such a resilient material can prove to be extremely valuable to a spacecraft and a colonization project.
Therefore, researchers started experimenting on a strain of yeast called Yarrowia lipolytica. This compound thrives when in contact with nitrogen and carbon that excrements are rich in. Once activated, this strain can create fats and oils that astronauts can turn into bioplastics.
Elon Musk Wants to Send the First Manned Mission to Mars in Just Eight Years
In the end, they will obtain polyester. The following stage is for astronauts to use 3D printers to craft any tools they want out of this material. The Mars ship will definitely lack many utensils as it needs to be as light as possible to reach such a far-off destination.
This odd survival strategy is one of the numerous plans NASA will need to keep its promise. The U.S. space agency works on sending people to Mars between 2030 and 2040. However, the first missions will be just exploratory types of the orbit of the planet. However, entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to beat NASA at its own game and activate the first manned Mars mission by 2025.
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