NASA is all set to send human on the Martian soil in days to come. This mission will be the farthest manned space journey that the humankind will make in the recent future. This also hints that humans will have to find a way inorder to keep the astronauts alive in space for certain period of time without increasing the weight of the spacecraft.
Therefore, inorder to avoid inconvenience there will be limited cargo on the Martian spacecraft during exploration on the red planet.
Also, NASA’s research team led by Mark Blenner has developed a kind of yeast that will utilise valuable biological components present in human urine — Nitrogen, along with Carbon from an astronaut’s breathing process to create plastic, which can be used to create valuable tools using 3D printing process.
The yeast, known as Yarrowia lipolytica, feeds on Nitrogen and Carbon and can be engineered to either create polyester polymers for printing plastic parts or omega-3 fatty acids, which can be utilised for nutritional purposes.
"If astronauts are going to make journeys that span several years, we'll need to find a way to reuse and recycle everything they bring with them," says Mark Blenner, lead researcher on the new project. "Atom economy will become really important. Having a biological system that astronauts can awaken from a dormant state to start producing what they need, when they need it, is the motivation for our project," he added.