There is already a lot of excellent research made by most of the national space agencies about how to grow food under microgravity or even on other soils like the one on planet Mars or on the moon’s regolith (the aquaponic system is one example of space applications). However, to establish long term human settlements, a more complex approach will be necessary and recreate complete ecosystems like the one illustrated in the picture EcosystemEN hereunder. This complex graph shows an ecosystem able to fulfil our basic needs and have been partly realized based on the ESA’s MELISSA project. Most of the technologies are already available and proven. Mushroom will be key to manage waste and some unpublished tests have already shown that some myceliums are even able to digest cigarette buts.
In addition, approximately 127 billion metric tons of ices melt, per year in Antarctica. This loss may increase dramatically in the next decades if nothing is done. If the 1600m Antarctic ice sheet melt, this continent may raise of about 500m above the actual level with all the consequences on the worldwide volcanic activities. That may lead us to the transformation of our beautiful planet into a hell like Venus.
To prevent this we need to regenerate our planet. The good news is that by doing this we will better understand how our ecosystems work and this will help us create ecosystems on Mars but also go to mars, stay and come back. This is why creating ecosystems fulfilling human basic needs as described in the EcosystemEN graph is important.
It’s already many years I’m working on concepts that I would like to present to some space agencies. And, as a matter of demonstration the best will be to test mix all these concepts here on earth like in the Uraeus project that will make desert green again and fulfill all human basic needs. All the technologies used in the Uraeus project are already effective and proved. it’s just a matter of making them happen together. This will help us improve how to provide enough food, water and energy for the astronaut to go, stay and come back from other planets (starting with the moon). Some concepts are already demonstrating it’s possible to make desert green again like in the south of Marroco with the Fog&Fungi project. (not shown here).
In parallel, we could develop the MOBOT (or multicellular soft robot) concept, which is inspired by how eukaryotic cells function. This concept will lead to the creation of swarm robot that will help us establish settlement in the North or South pole craters from the moon using architectural development like snails build shells but also create new way of transportation and exploration. The TRL of this concept is still at 1 and need to be created using interdisciplinary collaborations.
Climate & Venus:
Ecosystems & Uraeus:
Superballbot & Mobot:
Space exploration has always been a passion. But the actual situation of our planet is extremely worrying. Biomimicry is a way to look into nature for solutions. And, when you’re able to see them there are a lot of answers. It’s a long time I wish to show some of the solutions that may help humanity to become a level 1 and even 2 Kardashev civilisation. This hackathon was a perfect opportunity to share some of these researches, hoping this will lead somewhere. Silvia was key for the video montage of the project, the presentation, the website and the creation of the logo.
Here are the links from our brainstorming sessions :
Team alignment: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_ltY_hYw=/
Water management: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_ltZoRaI=/
Benyus J (1997) “Biomimicry – Innovation Inspired by Nature” Harper Collins Publisher, New York
Elodie Ternaux (MatériO) (2012) « Industry of Nature: Another approach to ecology » Frame Publisher, Amsterdam
Biomimicry Resource Handbook – A seed bank of best practices – D. Baumeister, PhD (2013)
Michael Pawlyn (2011) « Biomimicry in architecture » Riba publishing, London
Claire Stokoe (2013) « Ecomimesis, Biomimetic design for landscape Architecture », (issuu.com/stokoe/docs/ecomimesis accessed 16/08/07)
Miller JG (1978) « Living systems » McGraw-Hill, New York
Lovelock JE (1967) « Gaia as seen through the atmosphere » Atmospheric environment. Elsevier vol 6 issue 8 pp 579-580
Julian FV Vincent, Olga A Bogatyreva, Nikolaj R Bogatyreva, Adrian Browyer and Anja-Karina Pahl (2006) « Biomimetics: It’s practice and theory » JR Soc interface 3, pp 471-482
Schmidt-Nielsen K; Taylor CR; Shkolnik A (1971) ‘Desert snails: problems of heat, water and food ». Journal of Experimental Biology. 55: 385-398.
Islam MR; Schulze-Makati D. (2007). « Adaptations to environmental extremes by multicellular organisms ». International Journal of Astrobiology. 6(3): 199-215.
J. Guadarrama-Cetina et al., (2014) « Dew condensation on desert beetle skin », Eur. Phys. J. E 37: 109
Svetlana Normantovich, Ioana Leordean « Biomimicry in architecture: mitigation and adaptation to climate change », (ISSUU thesis)
Kyoo-Chul Park, Shreerang S. Chhatre, Siddarth Srinivasan, Robert E. Cohen, and Gareth H. McKinley, (2013) « Optimal Design of Permeable Fiber Network Structures for Fog Harvesting » Langmuir, 2013, 29 (43), pp 13269–13277
Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere, Anthony D. Barnosky, et al. (2012) Nature Vol 486
Gabriel N. N. Dowuona et al (2012) Characteristics of termite mounds and associated acrisols in the coastal savanna zone of Ghana and impact on hydraulic conductivity. Natural Science Vol.4, No.7, 423-437
Web template: ThemeGoods
www.asknature.com: Some examples used to illustrate the different potential solutions are directly from this extremely interesting website ben.biomimicry.net/uni/2013/happy-birthday-life/
Most of the technologies described already exist independently. Other than ESA’s Melissa, few trials have been made to put them together. The proposition is to create ecosystems able to fulfil human basic needs here on earth as described in the EcosystemEn graph. This will have to be using open and share data and use collective intelligence, to improve our knowledge about how these ecosystems could work. The different phases of the project will be: