NASA has been granted funds worth 200,000 USD for research on eight projects, one of which attempts to turn human poop into man made food. Such a project, distasteful as it sounds, has been undertaken to ensure a solution to keep astronauts fed during ultra long missions into deep space.
“Technology drives exploration, and investments in these technologies and technologists is essential to ensure NASA and the nation have the capabilities necessary to meet the challenges we will face as we journey to Mars,” said Steve Jurczyk, one of NASA’s associate administrators.
In a press release, NASA revealed that the project is named Synthetic Biology for Recycling Human Waste into Food, Nutraceuticals, and Materials: closing the loop for long term space travel. After NASA’s successful attempt of growing vegetables in space, they have further taken up the initiative of converting food from human excreta. The project is headed by Mark Blenner of Clemson University in South Carolina.
According to NASA, “This research, in addition to helping astronauts, will also prove to be useful once we live in a post-apocalyptic water-world situation in 20 years or so.”