Techshot, an Indiana based company was contracted by NASA to develop the necessary technology that would allow deployment of bacteria and algae to Mars in an attempt to produce oxygen.
Are we really going to live through the day when we see a human colony stretching out across the Martian surface? It seems so with NASA recently releasing Draft Technological Roadmaps 2015, an excellent tool for making information available to the public and tracking technological advancement.
The trip to Mars is featuring slick in detail in the Agency’s Roadmaps. And now, NASA reaches out to private industry to solve one of thorniest issues that we may encounter in our attempt to colonize the red planet. The lack of Oxygen.
At this point, the only means that NASA has at its disposal to transport oxygen to Mars is via giant tanks that take up a considerable space and weigh quite heavily. Instead, it is hoped that Techshot can develop a much needed mobile, easily-transportable, perhaps able to naturalize source of oxygen.
On a space shuttle carrying humans to Mars, extra heavy cargo is not needed. Therefore, let’s wish the Techshot team good luck if we want to witness one of the greatest achievements of mankind, the first colonization of our neighbor.
The aerospace development company is on track to create the Mars Room. In this custom made space the atmospheric pressure and temperature changes on Mars as well as the radiations emanating from the sun will be emulated exactly. Thus, the space will become a breeding room for algae and bacteria in a survival fight that for humanity signifies an important breakthrough.
It is hoped that if the experiment is successful and algae and bacteria could survive the environment of the Red Planet and live off the nitrogen and oxygen embedded in the rocks, then microorganisms will be sent on the next 2020 rover mission to Mars.
Microorganisms are known to have a knack for survival and doing more with fewer resources. Therefore, if successful, then the Techshot experiment would breathe new life into the NASA planned mission, allowing the agency to renounce the heavy load of oxygen tanks.
Eugene Boland, Techshot lead scientist stated that:
“This is a possible way to support a human mission to Mars, producing oxygen without having to send heavy gas canisters. Let’s send microbes and let them do the heavy lifting for us.”
On Earth, up to 80 percent of oxygen comes from photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria. Their abilities of adaptation to the environment are tremendous.
Hopefully, in Mars’s atmosphere that is mainly composed of CO2 with a proportion of 96 percent to 0.2 percent that of oxygen, the microorganisms will also find a medium to thrive in.
Image Source: NASA