/Humans need Earth-like ecosystem for deep-space living

Humans need Earth-like ecosystem for deep-space living

Key idea:  Through physics, ecological thermodynamics and abductive reasoning, it may be possible to recreate the same evolutionary, ecological networks that makes Earth successful.

Original author and publication date: Blaine Friedlander (Cornell Chronicle) – April 12, 2023

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: It will be nice not only to recreate Earth on another planet, but also to regenerate Earth on this planet.

From the article:   

Can humans endure long-term living in deep space? The answer is a lukewarm maybe, according to a new theory describing the complexity of maintaining gravity and oxygen, obtaining water, developing agriculture and handling waste far from Earth, which a Cornell researcher developed after examining the long-term physical needs of humans living far from Earth.

Dubbed the Pancosmorio theory – a word coined to mean “all world limit” – it was described in “Pancosmorio (World Limit) Theory of the Sustainability of Human Migration and Settlement in Space,” published in March in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences.

“For humans to sustain themselves and all of their technology, infrastructure and society in space, they need a self-restoring, Earth-like, natural ecosystem to back them up,” said co-author Morgan Irons, a doctoral student conducting research with Johannes Lehmann, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Her work focuses on soil organic carbon persistence under Earth’s gravity and varying gravity conditions. “Without these kinds of systems, the mission fails.”

The first key is gravity, which Earth life needs to function properly, said co-author Lee Irons, Morgan Irons’ father and executive director of the Norfolk Institute, a group that aims to solve problems of human resilience on Earth and in space.

“Gravity induces a gradient in the fluid pressure within the body of the living thing to which the autonomic functions of the life form are attuned,” he said. “An example of gravity imbalance would be the negative affect on the eyesight of humans in Earth orbit, where they don’t experience the weight necessary to induce the pressure gradient.”

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