Researchers in France are aiming to farm fish on the Moon in the future. They are testing different varieties of fish eggs that will be best to send beyond the Earth's atmosphere for the future plan of creating a Lunar Village. So far, European seabass is on the lead.
Feeding the men and women who will be living on the Moon in the future is a challenge and a major key in the success of the mission. It would be unsustainable in the future if they only eat freeze-dried products as they will lose important vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C, B12, and K, that they would need to survive on the Lunar surface.
Embryonic Fish Survives the Flight Simulation to Space
According to Hakai Magazine, the researchers used 200 European seabass eggs in their experiment. These eggs were tightly sealed within a curved dish filled with seawater up to the brim.
The countdown then begins and the eggs are off into the sky. The eggs suffer riotous shaking for two full minutes as the engines roared to life and then followed by eight minutes of shaking as the rocket continues to ascend to the heavens. These eggs were on their way to the low Earth orbit with plans of sending them to the Moon.
But they did not actually leave the planet. This was just a simulation of what it would be like when the fish eggs are finally sent to space to the lunar fish farm where scientists would rear them.
The researchers found that all the fish eggs survived the ordeal with 95% of them hatched compared to the control group with only 92% of the eggs hatched.
Their findings are crucial to the progress of the Lunar Hatch, a program that aims to enhance the self-sufficiency of future communities on the Moon and Mars. This project is led by the French Institute of Research and Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER) and Montpellier University Space Centre (CSUM).
Cyrille Przybyla, an aquaculture researcher at the IFREMER said he dreams of designing a lunar fish farm that uses the water on the Moon to help feed the residents of the future Moon Village that is set to be established by the European Space Agency (ESA). They hope to provide fresh, and healthy food not just packets of freeze-dried grub.
What Makes Embryonic Fish Suitable For This Mission?
Przybyla said that the adversities of the aquatic environment that embryonic fish must endure might have helped them evolve to withstand the strong currents, waves, and collision with the hard surfaces. Smithsonian Magazine reported that this made fish eggs naturally space-ready.
The Fish Site reported that fish are suitable to send to space because they are great candidates for survival in such a hostile environment with all its vibrations, space radiation, absence of gravity and atmosphere, and temperature variations on the Moon.
Moreover, fish have an excellent feed-conversion ratio (FCR) as they consume three times less oxygen and produce less carbon dioxide than land animals.
It was also suggested the psychological effects it would bring to astronauts during long space missions. Their presence would remind them of the living animal species back home.
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