Next Generation of Robotic Space Explorers – Powered by Bacteria

As technology advances, a lot of the gadgets and other things we use keep getting smaller, lighter and thinner. Now that trend may soon be taken to another extreme – small robotic space explorers which in turn use a miniscule power source – bacteria.

It may sound like science fiction, or just odd even, but that is the idea behind a new proposal by NASA for an alternative to the solar and nuclear powered missions common today. The bacteria could provide a long-lived energy source which could sustain a tiny robotic probe; the amount of energy generated would also be small however, not enough to power larger probes like the Mars rovers for example. The microbial fuels cells could last a long time however, as long as the bacteria themselves had an adequate food supply.



Next Generation of Robotic Space Explorers – Powered by Bacteria

The microbe being considered for the project is Geobacter sulfurreducens, which does not require oxygen for its survival.

read more: universetoday by Paul Scott Anderson