Here on earth, we have a well-developed natural system for sustaining human life: the atmosphere and biomes. In space, we need analogous closed-loop life support systems which sustain us – not an easy task.
Fortunately, advances made with new synthetic materials could open up exciting possibilities for manned space exploration.
From a new material that sucks the oxygen out of a room and stores it, to a man-made photosynthetic material which generates oxygen, these new developments could be an answer to solving that pesky lack of oxygen problem.
Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized a crystalline material that absorbs and stores oxygen in large quantities. It can be used to bind, store and transport oxygen, like dense artificial hemoglobin.