Plenary: Dr. Joseph Meany

Mapping Nutrient Cycles for Establishing Extrasolar Colonies

Upon arrival at a suitable candidate planetary system, colonists will need to establish a permanent residence on their new home. Unlike new lands discovered during the Colonial Era here on Earth, a new environment cannot be assumed to have suitable materials immediately available, ready for use to support survival. A transition from colony ship to the new planet surface will require careful stepwise development, wherein scavenged elements should be brought to bear to allow for sustainable habitation.

This work will review the current literature of regenerative technological cycles (involving self-assembling inorganic structures) and their major biochemical analogues. An outline of critical technical and biochemical cycles will be created, specifically pointing to areas where nutrient materials overlap and point to synergistic opportunities while also noting areas where nutrients should be strongly siloed (e.g. heavy metals in energy applications kept away from biological processes). This will conclude with a suggested roadmap for expansion of a crewed mission to develop on-planet extrasolar habitats via the generation of “landmark” industries necessary for perpetual habitation.