Image: Luca installs BioRock

phys.org | 3/20/2019 | Staff
joseph76 (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/hires/2019/imagelucains.jpg

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it is off to work the microbes go.

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano slides the smallest miners in the universe into the Kubik experiment container on the International Space Station.

Weeks - Species - Bacteria - Basalt - Slides

For the next three weeks, three different species of bacteria will unleash themselves on basalt slides in the Kubik centrifuge that simulates Earth and martian gravity as well as in microgravity.

Run by a research team from the University of Edinburgh in the UK, the BioRock experiment is testing how altered states of gravity affect biofilm formation – or the growth of microbes on rocks.

Microbes - Rock - Ions - Process - Enables

Microbes are able to weather down a rock from which they can extract ions. This natural process enables biomining, where useful metals are extracted from rock ores.

Already a common practice on Earth, biomining will eventually take place on the Moon, Mars and asteroids as we expand our understanding and exploration of the Solar...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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