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India to Soon Mark its Presence on Moon with Chandrayaan-2 Mission, Says PM Narendra Modi

The Prime Minister remembered Vikram Sarabhai saying that he played an important role in India's space program

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moon
A jet plane flies across the moon seen from Beijing, China, Nov. 14, 2016. VOA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday India will soon mark its presence on the Moon with the Chandrayaan-2 mission and appreciated the use of space technology in saving assets and life and in delivering government schemes.

“We have created a world record for launching 104 satellites simultaneously from the same spacecraft. We will soon register India’s presence on the Moon through the Chandrayaan-2 campaign,” Modi said in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ monthly radio address.

He added that Indian satellites symbolise the country’s growing power and help in establishing better relations with other countries.

“It has contributed a great deal in fostering better relations with many countries of the world. The ‘South Asia Satellite’ has been a unique initiative, which has gifted hues of development to our neighbouring allies,” Modi said.

“Through its highly competitive launch services, today India not only propels satellites of developing countries but also those of developed nations.”

Modi said the government is using space technology in delivering government schemes as well as maintaining accountability in government programmes.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

Giving an example, he said the ‘Housing For All’ scheme involves geo-tagging of about 40 lakh houses spread over 23 states. Along with this, more than 30.5 million properties under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act have also been tagged.

He further said the government has distributed NAVIC devices to fishermen which is helping in providing them safety and developing the economy.

Appreciating the use of space technology in devices for saving assets and life, he said: “Whether it is cyclone, or rail and road safety, all of these safety measures are being augmented by space technology.”

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Modi also mentioned that the number of successful space missions attempted since the country’s independence until 2014 have been equal to those successfully completed in the past four years.

The Prime Minister remembered Vikram Sarabhai saying that he played an important role in India’s space program.

“Our space program has been possible due to innumerable young scientists… The sky and stars have always enthralled children. Our space programme provides an impetus to children to think big and reach across those boundaries, which were considered impossible till today.” (IANS)

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NASA Explore Technology To Build Future Homes Made of Fungi For Moon, Mars

Upon arrival, by unfolding that basic structure and simply adding water, the fungi will be able to grow around that framework into a fully functional human habitat

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NASA
Keeping that in mind, the myco-architecture project out of NASA Ames Research Center in California is prototyping technologies that could "grow" habitats on the Moon, Mars and beyond out of life - specifically, fungi and the unseen underground threads that make up the main part of the fungus, known as mycelia. Pixabay

Instead of habitats made of metal and glass, NASA is exploring technologies that could grow structures out of fungi to become our future homes in the stars, and perhaps lead to more sustainable ways of living on Earth as well.

Creating a livable home for future astronauts means doing more than growing a roof to go over their heads. Astronauts will need to have all their basic needs met, just like on Earth, and face the additional challenges of living in a harsh environment on a distant world, the US space agency said in a statement.

Keeping that in mind, the myco-architecture project out of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California is prototyping technologies that could “grow” habitats on the Moon, Mars and beyond out of life – specifically, fungi and the unseen underground threads that make up the main part of the fungus, known as mycelia.

“Right now, traditional habitat designs for Mars are like a turtle – carrying our homes with us on our backs – a reliable plan, but with huge energy costs,” said Lynn Rothschild, the principal investigator on the early-stage project.

“Instead, we can harness mycelia (vegetative part of a fungus) to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there”. Ultimately, the project envisions a future where human explorers can bring a compact habitat built out of a lightweight material with dormant fungi that will last on long journeys to places like Mars.

Upon arrival, by unfolding that basic structure and simply adding water, the fungi will be able to grow around that framework into a fully functional human habitat – all while being safely contained within the habitat to avoid contaminating the Martian environment.

Mycelia are tiny threads that build complex structures with extreme precision, networking out into larger structures like mushrooms.
With the right conditions, they can be coaxed into making new structures – ranging from a material similar to leather to the building blocks for a Mars habitat.

NASA
Instead of habitats made of metal and glass, NASA is exploring technologies that could grow structures out of fungi to become our future homes in the stars, and perhaps lead to more sustainable ways of living on Earth as well. Pixabay

That last layer of mycelia is what organically grows into a sturdy home, first activated to grow in a contained environment and then baked to kill the lifeforms – providing structural integrity and ensuring no life contaminates Mars and any microbial life that’s already there. Even if some mycelia somehow escaped, they will be genetically altered to be incapable of surviving outside the habitat, said NASA.

Mycelia could also be used for water filtration and biomining systems that can extract minerals from wastewater – another project active in Rothschild’s lab – as well as bioluminescent lighting, humidity regulation and even self-generating habitats capable of healing themselves. And with about 40% of carbon emissions on Earth coming from construction, there’s an ever-increasing need for sustainable and affordable housing here as well.

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The harsh environments of the Moon and Mars will require new ways of living – growing homes instead of building them, mining minerals from sewage instead of rock. “But by turning to the elegant systems of our own natural world, we can design solutions that are green and sustainable. Whether on distant worlds or our own ever-changing Earth, fungi could be what brings us boldly into the future,” said NASA. (IANS)