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If We Move to Mars, We Could Be Living in Mushrooms, Says NASA

NASA to make mushroom homes

Photo: hannahsuegray / Flickr

From cooking and holistic uses to having a great trip, mushrooms can serve many purposes,but NASA just came up with one more. The fungi could potentially make great space homes.

As the space agency looks at what it takes to live on Mars, they began investigating biodegradable architecture.

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The myco-architecture project is currently making prototypes of technology that’s capable of growing habitats on the moon and Mars.

“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 in a NASA news release. “Instead, we can harness mycelia to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there.”

How A Mushroom Can Make a Home, According to NASA

Mycelia is the main part of the mushroom that can make new structures in the right conditions.

The agency imagines humans carrying a compact habitat on their backs. It would have dormant fungi that lasts as long as the journey to Mars. People could then unfold it and add water to create a structure to live in.

This home is more like an onion than the previous designed shell, complete with three layers.

The outside layer is made of ice to protect from radiation. The second layer is made of water and would use outside light shining through the outer layer to product oxygen.

And the third would grow into a sturdy home that will kill the outside life forms or germs to avoid contamination on Mars.

“When we design for space, we’re free to experiment with new ideas and materials with much more freedom than we would on Earth,” Rothschild said. “And after these prototypes are designed for other worlds, we can bring them back to ours.”

Maybe that’s the solution to Vancouver’s homelessness and climate crisis. Would you make like Thumbelina and live in a mushroom?

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