The invisible center stage
In order to colonize space, the world of the infinitely small can provide an excellent basis to work with. Huge strides have been made in developing tools and scientific methods for observing and manipulating this field. This is the case with molecular biology, with the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9, and in the field of nanomaterials, which are set to transform our environment. By using processes similar to that of a 3D printer (layer-by-layer assembly), Julia Greer, from Caltech (California Institute of Technology), has managed to create extremely complex nanostructures. Scaffolds are built involving various sophisticated treatments, which can be transformed into ultra-light, hyper-resistant materials with spectacular properties, capable of being deformed and springing back to their initial shape. These very complex, infinitesimally small architectures—measuring around one hundred nanometers (or a few thousandths of a millimeter)—can be created for all materials: ceramics, resin, organic compounds and metal. Researchers are enthusiastic and can foresee the time when the quantity of metal required for the construction of a structure like the Golden Bridge could be held in the palm of the hand.