Community > Forum > Technology & Science > Space Farms

Space Farms

Posted by: box - Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:28 pm
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 58 posts ] 
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Space Farms 
Author Message
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 4:32 am
Posts: 216
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Space Farms   Posted on: Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:28 pm
What sort of design will a space farm have? In orbit, or on another planet or moon?

Are there any companies out there working on the first space farm?

_________________
"SCREW THE RULES, WE HAVE MONEY!"
http://www.freespaceships.com


Back to top
Profile WWW
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:01 pm
Posts: 75
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:30 pm
My guess is that small gardens will be in orbit and large farms will be on or rather under the Moons surface. Most if not all will not use direct sunlight but rather use artificial light with electricity ironically generated by sunlight.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:40 am
Posts: 433
Location: California and Michigan
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:14 pm
Photo-bio-reactors :)

0-g 3d-aeroponics?

_________________
Let not the bindings of society hold you back from improving it.... the masses follow where the bold explore.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
avatar
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:16 pm
Posts: 335
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:06 pm
Why not use light pipes to deliver sunlight (filtered, obviously) to the underground farms?


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
avatar
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 7:44 am
Posts: 707
Location: Haarlem, The Netherlands
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:56 pm
NASA has done some work on plants in space, apparently. Looks like aeroponics is the way to go...

_________________
Say, can you feel the thunder in the air? Just like the moment ’fore it hits – then it’s everywhere
What is this spell we’re under, do you care? The might to rise above it is now within your sphere
Machinae Supremacy – Sid Icarus


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 4:32 am
Posts: 216
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:56 am
Lourens wrote:
NASA has done some work on plants in space, apparently. Looks like aeroponics is the way to go...


Thanks for that, I tried a quick search the night I added this thread and couldn't find much information on the current state of this field.

Maybe I should go to the library and search some journals. :)

What I did find was ideas of normal module sized greenhouses, some burried when on the surface of a planet or moon, others just extra attachments to a space station. Also these systems use humans or some propose using robots moving inside the greenhouse tending for the plants.

The "idea" I have been thinking about lately is a small pod based system that does use direct sunlight. /of course with some filtering and radiation shielding/

The basic concept is small growing pods that has maybe 1 square meter growing surface within, maybe folded in some way, or just perfectly flat.
The pod can be mass produced, the plants are put inside, and either are tended to at some regular intervals by opening the pods in a processing facility, or by small robots that fit inside the pods, Or a combination thereof.

The idea is to have large chains or fields of these things arranged around the habitat. The harvesting happens in a central location, or a harvester moves around extracts the plants, reseeds and restocks the pods and leaves them where they are.

The pods could be connected through tubes and kept in place by tethers delivering the nutrient solutions and co2 or they could be completely sealed off little units with all the required nutrients and water needed for the growth phase.

I think the advantage of this if it can be pulled off is that it could be mass produced faster than larger structures that one needs to fit humans or large robots inside to tend for the crops. Also there is a built in redundancy of having large number of separated growing environments.

Other advantage could be that parts or all of it could be 3d printed on smaller machines to be replaced or fixed, and it also could be developed by small hobby groups or companies with not much capital at their disposal.

I think if we do want to have millions of people living off world solving farming is a crucial step towards this goal. We have a lot of hype about cheap ways to orbit, or resources we could bring back and sell, but not much about how to feed the millions living up there.

Any thoughts? Is small modular greenhouse pods a bad idea?

_________________
"SCREW THE RULES, WE HAVE MONEY!"
http://www.freespaceships.com


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:40 am
Posts: 433
Location: California and Michigan
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:00 am
Algae can produce many novel compounds.

algae can be a complete protein...

_________________
Let not the bindings of society hold you back from improving it.... the masses follow where the bold explore.


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 4:32 am
Posts: 216
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:13 am
Sigma wrote:
Algae can produce many novel compounds.

algae can be a complete protein...


I have been thinking about bioreactors. It would be probably the most efficient system in terms of biomass production, and with 3d printing we might be able to print cool food products with the cells or extracts. But this system would probably need genetic engineering which isn't in the reach for small and cheap projects I had in mind. It's something bigger companies with more capital can toy with.

I had another system in mind for terrestrial use where the harvested plant biomass goes into a bioreactor instead of animals to produce meat or dairy like products. This system also could be potentially more efficient than using animals, but would require a lot of bioengineering. It's not something that could be done overnight with some pocket money. :(

_________________
"SCREW THE RULES, WE HAVE MONEY!"
http://www.freespaceships.com


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
avatar
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:16 pm
Posts: 335
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:26 am
Mmmm, bacteria milk...

You probably could modify cyanobacteria to secrete the particular mix of proteins and fats that are found in milk. Or even better, get potatoes to do it, since potatoes and milk form an almost-complete diet - if you enhance your milk potatoes in Molybdenum, you'll have everything you need in one, spud shaped food.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 9:47 pm
Posts: 816
Location: Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) - capital of Israel!
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:54 pm
Terraformer wrote:
Mmmm, bacteria milk...

You probably could modify cyanobacteria to secrete the particular mix of proteins and fats that are found in milk. Or even better, get potatoes to do it, since potatoes and milk form an almost-complete diet - if you enhance your milk potatoes in Molybdenum, you'll have everything you need in one, spud shaped food.


Bacteria milk? Hast thou ever eaten yogurt?

_________________
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
-Anonymous


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
avatar
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:16 pm
Posts: 335
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:52 pm
Well yes, but those bacteria don't produce milk, but modify what's there.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 9:47 pm
Posts: 816
Location: Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) - capital of Israel!
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:39 am
Terraformer wrote:
Well yes, but those bacteria don't produce milk, but modify what's there.


Yes, well, that was tongue in cheek. But there are other types of milk also - coconut milk, soy milk, teriyaki milk, . . .

_________________
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
-Anonymous


Back to top
Profile WWW
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:01 pm
Posts: 75
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:21 am
I have tried other "milks" ....this space food might take some getting used to. I guess hunger might be the best spice.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:15 pm
Posts: 908
Location: Columbus, GA USA
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:52 am
The typical Western diet is probably not very practical. But then neither will Eastern, or African.

Like any other environment, it will demand change and adaption from food too. Not good or bad, just different.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 9:47 pm
Posts: 816
Location: Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) - capital of Israel!
Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:07 am
JamesG wrote:
The typical Western diet is probably not very practical. But then neither will Eastern, or African.

Like any other environment, it will demand change and adaption from food too. Not good or bad, just different.


True enough. If you already are going to Mars, getting used to weird food is going to be the least of the things that you will have to get used to.

But this is one of the reasons bacteria should be planted on Mars (actually, the main reason). Once you have something living populating the planet, no matter how small, it becomes possible to develop something to eat - by going up the food chain (obviously, as you go up the food chain, you would have to move that food chain inside, but as long as the bottom of the food chain is reproducing itself, the whole chain is supported).

_________________
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
-Anonymous


Back to top
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 58 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests


cron
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use