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September 10, 2010 / Martijn

Space Colonists Use Bacteria to Mine Minerals

Scientists investigated several bacterium species and found that they not only could thrive on Mars- and moonlike rocks, but could extract elements useful to future extraterrestrial colonists.

Microbes currently are used in mining to help recover metals such as gold, copper and uranium. Now researchers suggest bacteria could be enlisted for “bio-mining” in space, to extract oxygen, nutrients and minerals from extraterrestrial bodies such as the moon and Mars for use by future colonists there.

via Space Colonists Could Use Bacteria to Mine Minerals on Mars and the Moon: Scientific American.

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