“NASA scientists have been conducting research focused on harnessing the power of biology to create useful things out of what seems to be nothing”. Rob Verger of Newsweek sums it up perfectly and his article “Recycling on Mars” covers everything from reliable space trips, to human waste not going to waste, and mainly- the technology that is being carried into space.
In “Recycling on Mars”, Verger quotes Michael Flynn, an engineer at NASA’s Ames Research Center who spoke about how important it is that the space stations have regular maintenance so that they won’t inevitably fail. Flynn’s point about maintaining the spaceships segue into an analogy to the human body which he explains as a more dynamic system that includes “the ability to repair itself”. The stunning abilities of the human body and biology is why, the Ames center is trying to “integrate the lessons learned from biological systems into mechanical systems”.
This is why a 3-D printer is being sent to the ISS of the SpaceX4 mission and why scientists on the mission will also bring yeast cells that could produce pigments. Making pigments is a test, and if it succeeds all sorts of materials such as cotton, bone and adhesives could be utilized so that a Mars mission is sustainable.