of the interactions of life with space environments
resources. The results quantify the immense potentials for future life
Solar System, in the galaxy, and in the universe.
Can space resources support life?
Recent experiments showed that microbes, algae, and plant cultures
(asparagus, potato) can grow well carbonaceous and Martian meteorites.
This suggests that
asteroid and Martian soils are
Asparagus growing on carbonaceous meteorite
Algae growing on Mars meteorite
How much life can the Solar
Nutrients in meteorites show that carbonaceous
asteroids can support a hundred million trillion kilograms of biomass
human space populations of thousands of
How can we measure the amounts of
amount of life in a ecosystem depends on the amounts of
biomass and its duration, expressed as time-integrated
biomass (kg-years). For example, the amount of life on
Earth to date is about quadrillion kg x billion years =
1e24 kg-years. Potential future life in the Solar
System, based on asteroid and cometary materials, is
much greater, 1e28 - 1e34 kg-years.
What is the future of life in the
Life can survive about red and white dwarf stars for trillions of
astronomical amounts of time-integrated
biomass on the order of 1e46 kg-years.
What is our cosmological future?
The immense amounts of future life will allow great diversity in
biology and intelligence. In our descendants,
life can then continue for trillions of eons.
They may then understand
nature more deeply, and try to extend life indefinitely. In that future
our human existence will find a cosmic purpose.