Image by Pixabay/Victor Tangermann Organic Chemistry
We may have to send extra goodies for space agencies to keep their morale high in the future when they send human spacecraft deep into space to explore and terraform distant planets.
Paul Stamets, a mycologist, suggested to Scientific American that psychedelic mushrooms can be used as a pick-me up for astronauts who are depressed, lonely, traumatized, or just plain bad. Although it seems odd, there is increasing evidence that shrooms' active ingredient, psilocybin, may offer many mental health benefits. It may be worth considering.
Stamets explained to the magazine that astronauts can take psilocybin while in space. This will allow them to look at the universe without feeling isolated and help them to be more psychologically and emotionally able to collaborate with other astronauts. I believe that loneliness, isolation, and depression will be major problems for astronauts.
Stamets did not book an interview with SciAm to claim that astronauts should eat shrooms as they travel to the stars. NASA funds have also been awarded to Stamets for research into how mushrooms might make space life easier.
These include building shelters and structures out of fungus, to terraforming whole new worlds using mushrooms ability to decompose regolith into fertile soil.
SciAm told Stamets that it's easier to grow one seed than to grow a lot of food. Nature is extremely efficient when it comes to payingloads. It is better for nature generates food rather than for your rocket carry food.
Although the idea of putting a small psilocybin snack inside an astronaut's utility belt is still speculative, Stamets believes it would be a worthwhile endeavor.
This is something I can say with sincerity: NASA, and all other people looking at the settlement in space, should consider that psilocybin mushroom should be an integral part of their psychological toolkit for astronauts, to help them endure the isolation and solitude of space.