It seems likely that one day humans will move to space, and when we do, we’ll need a way to collect the metals in space to build ships and space stations. Bringing all the resources from Earth would not be financially viable, and as many of these resources on Earth are finite, it would also not be practical.
Researchers from the UK Centre for Astrobiology, University of Edinburgh are investigating how bacteria could be used to gather these needed materials for us in space. They are running an experiment on the International Space Station to see how microbe and mineral interactions are affected by microgravity.
By understanding how microbes grow in microgravity, as well as how they interact with, and extract elements from a rock surface the team hopes to determine if extraterrestrial mining will be possible in the future. Using genomic tools, future mines could be created on asteroids, saturated with bacteria that are able to extract the metals we need in the harsh conditions of space.
Source: Science Daily
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