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Martian settlers will eat meals of protein extracted from the air

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Russia and China intend to establish a common lunar base in the 1930s.

Like the United States, which wants its pioneers to land on the Moon by 2025, it also wants to send a mission to Mars, but in order to settle already distant space it is necessary to find food for settlers. A round trip to Mars will take at least more than one year. However, the transport of foodstuffs into distant space is very expensive.

  1. Since the 1960s
  2. scientists have been considering ways to find food in space
  3. and NASA, following the early successes of the Apollo programme
  4. has been looking for ways to produce food for long-term space missions.

In a report entitled "The Closed Life Support System", scientists put forward the idea of creating a bioreactor using a special bacterium (hydrogenotrov) that feeds on carbon dioxide, that is, it can absorb the air that astronauts take out themselves where microbes produce protein as a result of a chemical reaction.

  • Americans then abandoned plans to make long-haul trips because of their high cost
  • but current startups returned to the idea in 2019
  • when the focus was on space missions to Mars
  • NASA reconsidered the idea and announced the CO2 Conversion Challenge.
  • Many companies are now working to solve this problem.

It was shown by Air Protein of the United States, which literally translates as a "protein of air", but the bacteria's diet includes not only carbon dioxide but also a mixture of special enzymes. After processing the mixture with microbes, brown powder is obtained that does not resemble meat in appearance, smell and taste, but contains nutritious meat-like elements.

  • Finland's startup Solar Food uses almost the same mechanism.
  • According to researchers, the process is somewhat similar to yeast cultivation.
  • But yeast turns sugar into alcohol, and here is electricity and carbon dioxide instead of sugar. With the help of electricity

water vapor particles are broken down into oxygen and hydrogen, then bacteria play their role, absorb carbon dioxide and produce proteins. Protein mass can be enriched with micro-elements or given any shape.

The main problem is to reduce electricity costs and achieve better productivity. However, bacteria can handle it. For example, European biologists have recently discovered a new type of microbes that can absorb methane molecules and release free electrons to the environment, which in fact means the production of electricity.