With the successful landing and deployment of the Mars Curiosity Rover, humanity has been treated to a sneak peek at the Red Planet for the first time. The possibility of establishing space colonies has been a scientists’ dream for decades, but working out a way to keep humans alive on the outside Earth’s protective shell has been a stumbling block.
The first step is figuring out how to create a constant flow of oxygen and food for early space settlers. Here on Earth, we rely on our unique atmosphere and the power of the sun to keep us breathing and plants growing. In space, we’d have to create these systems for ourselves. Experts now say that nuclear-powered LEDs could be key to building bio-regenerative systems that could keep us alive in off-Earth environments.