Long ago, a clan of hardy microbes called cyanobacteria helped terraform the lifeless Earth into a vibrant biosphere. Today, the very same critters could be the key to colonizing Mars.
The key to the human race’s future may be right beneath our feet. It sounds bizarre, but fungi better known as mushrooms can help solve many of society’s greatest challenges, from cleaning up the environment and living more sustainability to colonizing other planets.
Kim Stanley Robinson's asteroid terrariums probably take inspiration from the O'Neill Cylinder, pictured above. Credit: Wikipedia
Imagine for a moment: you're walking in a forest. It's a cool, early autumn day. The air is wet and tastes of rotting wood. You tread softly, the earth beneath your feet matted with decomposition. As you walk the ground springs back, exhaling like rising bread dough.