In a bid to solve the ongoing space debris issue, a cybersecurity expert and self-proclaimed cyber farmer proposes using mushrooms in the making of future satellites.

Max Justice of Setas Mushrooms in West Virginia has demonstrated that mycelium fiber, extracted from the root of fungus, is tough, flexible, heat resistant, fire retardant, light weight and environmentally friendly with silk-like tensile strength. As such, Justice believes that mycelium is ideal for the manufacture of satellite chassis.

According to Justice, the mycelium would reduce the collision risk posed by telecommunications, internet and smaller inactive satellites composed of metal components floating through space. The risk of fracturing following collision could potentially be reduced using the mycelium, whereas collisions with metal-based satellites produce smaller pieces of space junk, and thus an exponential increase in space debris and, consequently, even more collisions — a cascading phenomenon otherwise known as Kessler Syndrome.

In addition to the collision risk posed by standard metal-based satellites, the mycelium satellites, which would potentially feature fine strands of metal for signal transmission, would not leave behind the alumina particles that standard satellites would leave behind upon burning up while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

For more information on Justice’s proposal, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of Setas Mushrooms.

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