|Lockheed Martin’s concept, called Mars Base Camp, would need a way to replenish their fuel and air supplies. Lockheed Martin
Topics: Astrophysics, Mars, NASA, Photosynthesis, Planetary Science, Space Exploration
Note: From American Express travelers checks ads in 1975 with Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden; it was "them" instead of "it" back then. Yeah, I'm dating myself.
Spaceflight is like backpacking. If you can’t restock supplies like food and water along the way, how far you can travel is limited by how much you can carry. And in space, you also have to worry about having enough fuel for your spacecraft and breathable air for your crew.
That’s why some researchers are looking toward technology that they call artificial photosynthesis — a way of harnessing the sun’s light to generate fuel and breathable air for longer missions. This system would mimic, in a sense, the way plants perform natural photosynthesis by converting light energy into chemical energy and producing oxygen in the process.
Research published Tuesday in Nature Communications brings us one step closer to this goal. For the first time, researchers performed photoelectrochemical experiments — chemical reactions that use light and the electrical properties of chemicals — in an outer space-like microgravity environment.
Using Sunlight To Make Spaceship Fuel And Breathable Air, Erika K. Carlson, Astronomy Magazine