Nasa researchers are working on creating bricks from yard waste, wood chips and a fungi colony called mycelium to build lunar bases and Mars outposts in the future! This mass of nutrient-absorbing, widely branching underground threads that make up much of a fungusโ€™s bulk might be key to grow habitats without having to carry expensive and heavy building materials on our backs.

Scientists plan to ship dormant fungus to a Moon base and there provide it with the right conditions to trigger growth. Once these mycelium colonies grow into the shape of a structure, it could be heat-treated to kill it and turn it into a compact brick.

Moon and Martian habitats will consist of three layers: the top will consist of water ice that can be sourced locally, that would shield human residents from harmful radiation. The middle layer will contain tiny photosynthesizing microbes called cyanobacteria that produce oxygen for humans and nutrients for the fungal mycelia.

The third layer will provide the main structure of the habitat and is made out of the mycelium bricks that would also be used to filter water and extract minerals from their sewage. Moreover, these bricks have a higher bend strength than reinforced concrete and a higher compression strength than lumber.

At the same time, researchers around the world are also investigating the potential of 3D printing to construct habitats in our future space colonies! Only time will tell if our generation will be able to have dinner inside a Martian crater.

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