Are mushrooms the key to life on other planets?

Future Space Travel Might Require Mushrooms

If you’re looking for an out-of-this-world experience, try tripping in space.

Mycology expert Paul Stamets believes that psilocybin mushrooms can help astronauts work through the depression, loneliness, and PTSD that comes from being isolated in space. “Under carefully controlled conditions, our astronauts [being] able to take psilocybin in space and look at the universe and not feel distant and alone but feel like they’re part of this giant consciousness will give them a better frame of mind—psychologically, emotionally—to work with other astronauts and stay on mission.”

Stamets is working with NASA to explore the emerging field of astromycology –  the study of fungal biology throughout the universe. In a recent interview, he said that mushrooms can produce biodiverse environments with rich soil that may help astronauts grow food on other planets. Blocks made from reishi mushrooms even have potential to create extraterrestrial shelters because they’re great at retaining heat and are insanely strong (a hydraulic stainless steel press broke when trying to crush a reishi block). Plus, they are rich in carbon fibers, so they could possibly become solar powered batteries!