March 15, 2023

Chernobyl Fungus Could Shield Astronauts From Cosmic Radiation

Stephen Johnson, on Freethink Media:

A recent experiment aboard the International Space Station suggests a surprising solution: a radiation-eating fungus, which could be used as a self-replicating shield against gamma radiation in space.

The fungus is called Cladosporium sphaerospermum, an extremophile species that thrives in high-radiation areas like the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The Last of Us withstanding, this is fascinating. Not only the angle of the solution, but also huge space travel problem it would solve.

Extrapolating these results, the researchers estimated that a roughly 8-inch layer of C. sphaerospermum â€œcould largely negate the annual dose-equivalent of the radiation environment on the surface of Mars.”

Huge. I would also guess that it implies the fungus can be grown on Mars, reducing critical weight.


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