Bacteria can help feed astronauts on Mars

Astrobiologists have found that cyanobacteria can produce oxygen, sugar, amino acids and other nutrients in the conditions of Mars.

Taking into account the current technical development and the peculiarities of the rotation of the planets of the solar system, the Martian missions with the participation of a person can drag on for several years. One of the key problems in this case is supplies, more precisely, the volume required for the successful return of astronauts to Earth. Since sending enough of them into space will become prohibitively expensive, scientists are looking for better ways to obtain the necessary substances and materials during the mission itself..

A team of researchers from the University of Bremen studied the cyanobacteria Anabaena, which can produce oxygen and convert atmospheric nitrogen into sugars, amino acids and other nutrients needed to support the vital functions of humans and other organisms..

During the experiments, scientists were able to grow microorganisms in a bioreactor at low pressure in artificial Martian soil and atmosphere. However, astrobiologists had to increase the pressure in the installation to 10% of the Earth’s so that water could exist in liquid form on the surface of a solid medium..

Bacteria can help feed astronauts on Mars

Under these conditions, the Anabaena studied grew well enough to be effectively used to produce nutrients..

Previously, scientists also developed the concept of terraforming individual areas. the surface of Mars with a silica airgel that will mimic the atmospheric greenhouse effect.

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Bryan Versteeg

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