Prepare for rigors of colonising outer space or astronauts may turn cannibal, say experts

Prepare for rigors of colonising outer space or astronauts may turn cannibal, say experts

There are numerous challenges for space colonists but the most important one is the food security, said Edinburgh University’s Charles Cockell.

If humans do not prepare for rigors of colonising outer space, astronauts may turn to cannibalism, warn two space scholars.

There are numerous challenges for space colonists but the most important one is the food security, said Edinburgh University’s Charles Cockell.

There is a need to ensure farming and operating crop systems properly by colonisers as otherwise they may also find themselves in a similar situation to Sir John Franklin's 1845 Arctic exploration, Cockell stressed. The Franklin's crew had cannibalised each other.

"Franklin’s crew tried to find the north-west passage on ships in the late 19th century. They had the most sophisticated pieces of technology available at that time," the astrobiology professor told the Metro.

Prepare for rigors of colonising outer space or astronauts may turn cannibal, say experts
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"They had tinned food, which was the new technology, and yet, they got lost, stranded and they ended up degenerating into cannibalism," he explained. "If you put a group of people on Callisto, things start going wrong and the plant growth module breaks down, they are going to eat each other if there is no other way to survive," added the professor.

Dr Cameron Smith, co-founder, Pacific Spaceflight, agreed that it will prove vital to "establish a really good farming system and put in a lot of stored food."

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