Our mission is to establish an independent and self-sustaining alternative manufacturing system. Our desired system contains a 3D-printable bioink produced by certain bacteria and is based on a combination of the biopolymers alginate and cellulose. Our captain who will accompany us on our flight is Azotobacter vinelandii, a heterotrophic soil bacterium which produces alginate naturally. We are introducing genes required for cellulose biosynthesis and alginate overexpression in order to create our hydrogel which has the required mechanical properties to be used as bioink.
Astronauts wil be more autonomous.
With the help of our bioink they would be able to print whatever they want, whenever they need it. Not just limited lifetime equipment, but also “luxury goods” which astronauts would not be able to take with them without having our bioink. In the long run, using our bioink instead of sending consumables to space would be more sustainable and space saving.
- NASA - Advanced Space Transportation Program fact sheet. Retrieved July 11, 2022, from https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/background/facts/astp.html
- Carbon Emission calculated via https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-emission-fuels-d_1085.html