Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and airflow can transform the seemingly innocuous fungal growth into entire homes.
NASA is experimenting with mycelium by allowing the fungus to grow around pre-built frames and then baking the structure to reinforce it.
By combining mycelium with wood chips and “yard waste”, researchers have also been able to create brick-like building blocks.
The research is part of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts programme or NIAC.
The programmed is looking into how synthetic biology can aid future exploration of the solar system.