Radiation-Eating Fungus From Chernobyl Could Protect Future Astronauts

The outer layer of the living quarters might be stuffed with fungus to absorb dangerous radiation. 80's Child/Shutterstock.com

The magnetic field of our planet doesn’t just allow us to find North, it is also an invaluable shield against cosmic radiation. This protection cannot be taken for granted, and there are many concerns about how can we provide the same protection to astronauts on future deep-space missions. A potential answer comes from a peculiar source: fungi.

Fungi are often forgotten in the kingdoms of life, with animals, plants, and even bacteria taking the spotlight. But fungi are important, they not only allow us to bake bread and make beer, but some species can also absorb dangerous radiation. For example, 200 species of fungus have been discovered living in the ruins of the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant, site of the infamous 1986 disaster.

One of them, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, was even taken to the International Space Station to test its capabilities at stopping cosmic radiation. The data is incredibly encouraging. Layers of such fungus could be used to protect astronauts in deep space and other planets and moons.

To know more check out the video below:


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