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Could a shield made of mushrooms protect astronauts during space travel?

Could a shield made of mushrooms protect astronauts during space travel?

For long-range human space missions, such as those for the exploration of Mars, vehicles will need an effective shield capable of doing it Block most radiation from space. A new research paper published in the preprint journal BioRxiv earlier this month explains how.

A special mushroom called Cladosporium sphaerospermum It can form a living shield around the spacecraft in space. Mushrooms have a special double power: Prevents radiation and uses it to growGreat news for sure since then There is 700 times more radiation on Mars than there is on Earth.

Researchers have taken mushrooms to the International Space Station to study this effect. mushroom It grew about 21% faster Of those on the floor and radiation, for a mushroom bed with a thickness of 1.7 mm, it was about 2.17% less. These results are encouraging, and show that it is indeed possible for astronauts to have a way to counteract the dangerous radiation of space.

It’s too early to celebrate, because according to the team of researchers to reduce radiation levels to Earth-like conditions, the habitat must be covered 2.3m thick layer of mushroom; A similar shielding effect can be achieved by surrounding the Martian habitat with three meters of regolith. However, according to a study conducted on Martian life could exist thanks to radiation.

There is currently no perfect solution and scientists will still have a lot of work to do.

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