Space habitats

From Cosmos magazine:

Australian-led scientists have designed a new space habitat that might one day allow astronauts on the Moon or Mars to be 90 to 95 per cent self-sufficient.

The development of such as system could save billions of dollars in shuttle trips to re-supply lunar or space colonies and brings closer the vision of a human habitat on Mars.

The technology could also have applications on Earth to develop more sustainable farming techniques and improve recycling processes.

The astronauts — the current design is for 12 people living within the system for three years — would subsist on a largely vegetarian diet as they would be able to grow things like peanuts, wheat and tomatoes. Algae would help provide oxygen, although 100% self-sufficiency is impossible due to micro leaks and such.

It will be at least 20 if not 30 years before this technology is realised, but will be key to the settlement of the moon, Mars and elsewhere.

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