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Astronaut Food Made from Astronaut Waste

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Astronaut Food Made from Astronaut Waste

Last summer, for Ci 4.0, our camp theme was “space” and some of our campers even got to meet and chat with a real astronaut, Barry Wilmore, a captain of the International Space Station who has done a spacewalk. Hearing him talk about living in space is exciting and his passion for God’s creation is contagious. But there are some not-so-glamourous aspects of being an astronaut—like the food.

One of the STEM activities we did last summer involved planning a trip to Mars and coming up with proposed solutions to some of the problems such a long trip would entail. And researchers at Penn State University have been doing this too and they have developed a way to provide food for astronauts on the long journey to Mars: “converting solid waste into edible biomass.”

Astronauts already have to drink recycled urine (it’s completely safe but still, the idea is gross) but this takes things one (gross) step further. Using a device sort of like a fish tank filter, the astronauts’ waste is treated with microbes that turn the waste into fatty acids while other microbes turn those fatty acids into methane. Then still other microbes eat this methane and, in a matter of hours, produce a nutritious (but no one said it would be delicious), edible “biomass.” One researcher described it as “a smear of ‘bacterial goo.’” Yum!

Mankind is incredibly adept at developing novel solutions to the problems we face and we bring glory to God when we do this. Space travel is an exciting avenue of research and could someday result in astronauts traveling to Mars or maybe someday even other distant places. And, as past space programs have shown, the innovations developed for space travel (like camera phones, scratch-resistant lenses, athletic shoes, ear thermometers, and the computer mouse) often have practical applications for our day-to-day lives—let’s just hope this bacterial goo doesn’t!

Would you eat bacterial goo for a chance to go to Mars? Hop on our Facebook page and let us know!

 

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Dan Wooster

Dan is the founder of Camp Infinity, a retired computer science professor, cofounder of a software development company, and a member of the board for Answers in Genesis. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife Karen. They have 3 married children and 5 grand children. He loves to inspire young people with a biblical view of the world, especially science & technology.

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Avery Foley

Avery Foley is a blog writer for Camp Infinity. She holds a bachelors of science in biblical studies and a masters of arts in theological studies. She’s originally from Canada but lives with her husband and young son in Kentucky where she works as a writer for a creation apologetics organization.

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Emily Barney

In addition to her strong organizational skills and heart for children's safety and well being, Emily brings to Camp Infinity a valuable perspective as a mother of two boys. She is happily married to a pastor. In addition, she works as the Children's Ministries Director at her local church. Visitors often comment on the high level of safety they experience when leaving their children under the supervision of Emily's team.

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Avery Foley

Avery Foley is a blog writer for Camp Infinity. She holds a bachelors of science in biblical studies and a masters of arts in theological studies. She’s originally from Canada but lives with her husband and young son in Kentucky where she works as a writer for a creation apologetics organization.

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Max Lorentz

Max Lorentz has loved science (and astronomy in particular) since childhood. He enjoys sharing it with others, especially with young people. He studied mathematics as an undergraduate and is currently completing a Ph.D. in astronomy.

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Georgia Purdom

A member of our advisory board, Georgia is a most gifted author, researcher and speaker for Answers in Genesis.

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Dan Wooster

Dan is the founder of Camp Infinity, a retired computer science professor, cofounder of a software development company, and a member of the board for Answers in Genesis. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife Karen. They have 3 married children and 5 grand children. He loves to inspire young people with a biblical view of the world, especially science & technology.

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Jeremy Ervin

Dr. Jeremy Ervin is the Inaugural Dean of the School of Education at Cedarville University. With his experience in providing professional learning for K-12 teachers and his time teaching pedagogy in higher education, he recognizes how the 21st Century classroom needs to center on the engagement of the learner with enduring understandings.

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Robert Ring

RJ is a blog writer for Camp Infinity and a student at Bob Jones University majoring in engineering. He loves considering the science and technology claims of science fiction stories. He also loves reading. Throughout his life he has been a dreamer, imagining a never ending series of what ifs and maybes. From a young age, God gave him a passion for learning all he could about the world around him.

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Jason Goff

Jason is the social media manager for Camp Infinity. He loves helping us tell the stories of Ci through the digital mediums of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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