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#151 2004-02-27 05:41:25

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Cindy, you don't have to worry about missing butter and sour cream on your potatoes.
    I'm bringing a small herd of cows with us on Mars Direct 1 ... remember?!!
                                           tongue

[Phobos used to ridicule me about that. Can't understand why.   yikes   big_smile  ]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#152 2004-02-27 06:00:46

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Cindy, you don't have to worry about missing butter and sour cream on your potatoes.
    I'm bringing a small herd of cows with us on Mars Direct 1 ... remember?!!
                                           tongue

[Phobos used to ridicule me about that. Can't understand why.   yikes   big_smile  ]

*Teehee...yes, Shaun, I remember.  smile

Phobos certainly had me wondering about the acreage of your ranch!  tongue

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#153 2004-02-27 06:08:14

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

If you wanted to import livestock, wouldn't it be better to start with smaller mammals? Like goats etc. Bring one (1) female species to Mars, (maybe a young one, to save place/food etc..) and a set of frosen semen from different genetic strands, once you've landed, get the local doc to artificially inseminate the poor thing et voila, after a very short while you have a genetically diversified, hence rugged herd...

You could start with the 'smaller' varieties of species, (Japanese mini-cows)  gradually inseminate each generation with 'bigger' variety semen, to get a full-sized normal breed in the end...
(is that possible without too much risk for the mother? Can you breed for instance, big horses from ponies, with some steps in between, like the small Arab horces...or are they genetically too diverse?

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#154 2004-02-27 07:27:11

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Don't know about the acreage of my ranch but one or two people have suggested I might have "a few 'roos loose in the top paddock".
                                     tongue


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#155 2004-02-27 08:34:36

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Hope they incorporated the weight of good sound insulation, then... Imagine sitting in a tin can for six months with a constant "boink,boink,booooink" coming from the neighbour upstairs...   tongue

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#156 2004-02-27 11:13:04

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Not only that, but Kudzu is very nutritious (you can use the green sprouts, the roots etc off it)

That KrazyKudzu site makes it look like a novelty, eating the 'weed'... In USA it's seen as a 'durty weed, but in certain Eastern countries it has been used as a valuable source of food for ages...

(No, don't have the details, but read about it some years ago, and too lazy to look it up again  big_smile )

Rxke - you might have missed our prior discussion of kudzu. Here is another link. [http://www.cptr.ua.edu/kudzu/]http://www.cptr.ua.edu/kudzu/

The story about how US workers (in the 1930s) spread kudzu far and wide through the American SouthEast, supposedly as erosion control, only to have it proliferate and engulf the countryside reminds me of a true story from my younger days.

When I was in my early 20s, 4 buddies of mine were partners in a 34 foot sailboat. Over one summer a minor mold problem arose. Water got below decks and small amounts of mold started growing. Come autumn, the boat was hauled out and set on stands for winter storage. Time to clean up the mold. One friend shows up with a large bottle of "Mr. Clean" detergent and for several hours these guys vigorously scrub the entire interior of the boat.

Not a speck of mold to be seen. Close up the boat and enjoy winter, looking forward to spring time and another sailing season. Sadly, "Mr. Clean" doesn't kill mold. Bleach does, by the way.

March arrives and its time to open up the boat. These guys discover that their vigorous scrubbing spread mold spores throughout the boat and the entire insides is now,well,  very fuzzy and furry.

I knew the mothers of several of these fellows and their universal response was: "Well, duh!"

It was pretty funny.

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#157 2004-02-27 12:01:50

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

I never even thought of kangeroos, Shaun. How about discussing 'em from your own experience. Would marsupials be any more practical to transport to Mars than regular animal babies?

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#158 2004-02-27 14:10:12

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Carrying any animal to Mars takes room, and room for its food supply, you have the risk of illness, stress, and death of the animal as well. Instead of taking up all that space for an animal use if for extra food store, or something like hydroponics giving a constant food sorce. What would happen if the animal did die in transit, all that space taken up by it and its food supply suddenly becomes wasted - and you could not eat something that had died by what could be unknown causes.


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#159 2004-02-27 14:34:35

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

*There's another issue as well:  Veterinary care. 

If there aren't a lot of animals in the early stages of colonization, it might stand to reason there won't be a person in the colony who is a veterinarian or has had some training/education in that regard.

Sending animals to Mars without a "doctor" of their own is unfair to them; it could become cruelty, in fact.  I don't mean to sound alarmist, but of course they have their ailments and etc too.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#160 2004-02-27 15:08:15

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

The first missions won't carry livestock anyhow, too much of a diversion, too much hassle. But i think a 'real' doc could do a crash course for treating animals, or otherwise the greenhouse expert, etc... Anyway, it think the animals would more run the risk of getting too much attention, being the only living non-humans around etc... Everybody will love the base's only cow, goat, rabbit...

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#161 2004-02-28 09:32:16

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

. . . kangaroo . . . pair.

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#162 2004-02-28 09:48:40

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

I suspect one could use artificial ensemination to get larger breeds from smaller ones, as long as they're all the same species. After all, one can crossbreed related species and get sterile offspring; how does it work, mules are a cross of horses and donkeys? I've even heard that lions and tigers have been crossbred, producing sterile offspring. Maybe you'd need to suppress the mother's immune system to make sure the "foreign" embryo isn't rejected.

The bigger issue might be "cultural"; many animals learn much of their behaviors from their mothers, and they won't learn them from a mother of a different breed.

I'd start with small species that have been used around farms for thousands of years to eat table scraps: chickens, for example. You wouldn't need to bring much food just for them, especially if you had a small greenhouse on board for fresh vegetables. Feed the carrots to the people and the carrot tops to the chickens (and the carrots left over on everyone's plates afterward).

        -- RobS

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#163 2004-04-16 07:09:49

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

[=http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mini_mars_040415.html]"They can take anything; they just adapt"

*Working to discover how plants may grow in low-pressure atmosphere (apparently at the same rate!).  smile

Discusses difficulties with humidity.

I guess rabbits and guinea pigs might be the first pets on Mars...there'll be plenty to nibble on.  smile

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#164 2004-04-16 11:34:10

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,012

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

I think that problems of air quality have been too quickly skimmed over in this discussion, making  it sound as though the Martian atmosphere could just be pumped right into the greenhouse on one end and have tasty vegetables come out the other side (although I do like Robert’s idea of using a catalytic converter to treat the air in the greenhouse).  In addition to needing the same diligence in balancing the O2:CO2 ratio as is given to the crew’s air supply, the greenhouse is going to need some means of eliminating poisons like carbon monoxide and salt aerosols.  There will likely be a slight but continuous flow of these through the greenhouse as they are tracked in by the crew, diffuse in through the plastic envelope, etc.  Over time, if not removed, they will build up over several growing seasons, killing off the plants.

That kind of slow buildup is often hard to monitor, since the effects of low level poisoning in plants accumulate over time and are likely to start long before the indicator light on the gas sensor starts blinking.

In addition to mechanical monitors, I seriously recommend that we bring along canaries to monitor the gas levels in Martian greenhouses.

[http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/gree … ress2.html]http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts....s2.html

Tomatoes are susceptible to everything.  Anything but perfect air quality seems to give them incurable epinasty.  It’ll be just awful to try to grow them under the expected conditions on Mars, where almost any failure of the air conditioning system could slash yields and possibly wipe out the whole crop.

They’re perfect canaries.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#165 2004-04-21 14:47:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

I think that problems of air quality have been too quickly skimmed over in this discussion, making  it sound as though the Martian atmosphere could just be pumped right into the greenhouse on one end and have tasty vegetables come out the other side (although I do like Robert’s idea of using a catalytic converter to treat the air in the greenhouse).  In addition to needing the same diligence in balancing the O2:CO2 ratio as is given to the crew’s air supply, the greenhouse is going to need some means of eliminating poisons like carbon monoxide and salt aerosols.  There will likely be a slight but continuous flow of these through the greenhouse as they are tracked in by the crew, diffuse in through the plastic envelope, etc.  Over time, if not removed, they will build up over several growing seasons, killing off the plants.

That kind of slow buildup is often hard to monitor, since the effects of low level poisoning in plants accumulate over time and are likely to start long before the indicator light on the gas sensor starts blinking.

In addition to mechanical monitors, I seriously recommend that we bring along canaries to monitor the gas levels in Martian greenhouses.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/gree … ...s2.html

Tomatoes are susceptible to everything.  Anything but perfect air quality seems to give them incurable epinasty.  It’ll be just awful to try to grow them under the expected conditions on Mars, where almost any failure of the air conditioning system could slash yields and possibly wipe out the whole crop.

They’re perfect canaries.

*Well...this isn't a "strong-suit" particular for me by any means.  :-\

I don't mean to sound naive...but couldn't the greenhouses be outfitted with air scrubbers which draw in/capture impurities?  I'm thinking of the kinds of scrubbers they've had in space capsules (eliminating excess carbon monoxide).  Of course, those would then have to be replaced or "cleaned" somehow, to be used again.

Probably oversimplistic, but I admit I'm out of my league here (totally).

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#166 2004-04-21 17:23:34

Hazer
Member
From: Texas/Oklahoma
Registered: 2003-10-26
Posts: 173

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Has anyone here experimented with growing vegetables in a closed system with artificial light/gravity/pressure?


In the interests of my species
I am a firm supporter of stepping out into this great universe both armed and dangerous.

Bootprints in red dust, or bust!

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#167 2004-04-23 05:22:19

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Sorry to be so long in responding to Dicktice's question about kangaroos back in February but things have been hectic for me lately.
    The truth is I don't know much more about farming kangaroos than I do about farming cattle.  sad
    We get plagues of kangaroos in the outback of Australia from time to time and culling is necessary on a regular basis; though the greenies and animal rights activists aren't happy about the way it's done, citing inexperienced 'roo shooters causing undue suffering etc.

    I've just arrived home from a short trip to central Australia, where I spent several days in Alice Springs. For the first time, I sampled barbecued kangaroo meat and found it quite palatable, though strongly flavoured in a 'gamey' kind of way. ( I might describe it best by saying kangaroo is to steak as duck is to chicken - both nice, but in their own way.)
    If kangaroo were found to be easier to farm in a martian setting, I believe the meat would prove just as popular as steak once people became used to it.
    Sorry I can't offer any practical hints as to their suitability for enclosed farming on Mars.
                                          sad


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#168 2004-04-23 10:26:42

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

I've just arrived home from a short trip to central Australia, where I spent several days in Alice Springs. For the first time, I sampled barbecued kangaroo meat and found it quite palatable, though strongly flavoured in a 'gamey' kind of way. ( I might describe it best by saying kangaroo is to steak as duck is to chicken - both nice, but in their own way.)
    If kangaroo were found to be easier to farm in a martian setting, I believe the meat would prove just as popular as steak once people became used to it.
    Sorry I can't offer any practical hints as to their suitability for enclosed farming on Mars.
                                          sad

*There's something about the image of kangaroos bouncing around in the lower gravity of Mars which tickles me.  smile 

I really dislike the thought of animals always confined.  But then I'd have to be a "green"...

Anyway, I'm on the verge of being a vegetarian (or nearly so).  I'm really starting to have problems with eating stuff that came from something which originally had a face. :-\  I can handle meat which is so processed you forget where it came from, which makes me feel bad, i.e. like a hypocritical carnivore.

But 'roos on Mars...I'm all for it!  smile  Boing-boing-boing!  :laugh:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#169 2004-04-23 17:49:24

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Actually, Cindy, I'd never really visualised how kangaroos might look when bounding around in 0.38g until you mentioned it.
    Even in 1g they manage to make gravity look inconsequential, such is the smooth grace and apparent effortlessness of their locomotion. A human trying to hop is a jerky and ungainly creature, while a kangaroo in full bound is an almost surreal thing to behold.
    I wonder how long it would take a kangaroo to become accustomed to the lower gravity. Would they instinctively use too much power to start with and launch themselves far too high above ground level? Or would they compensate immediately out of a supreme sense of balance and control?

    Different gravitational fields have been found to require humans to use different modes of locomotion for optimum efficiency. On Luna, the hopping action of the Apollo astronauts was soon found to be the best way, while here on Earth walking is the most energy-efficient motion. Apparently, on Mars, a loping run will get you from 'a' to 'b' with the least perspiration.
    Humans seem able to vary their gait relatively easily in order to adapt to prevailing gravitational fields but kangaroos are completely adapted to hopping; perhaps over-adapted. Maybe martian gravity would render them hopelessly unable to move around with any degree of grace at all(?).
    That would be a sad sight to see and would probably constitute a kind of cruelty in my view.   sad

    Guess I'll stick to my small herd of cattle on Mars Direct 1 !!   tongue


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#170 2004-04-24 07:02:55

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

Interesting thoughts about 'roos on Mars  smile   I have fond memories of seeing *herds* of kangaroos in the Outback while traveling by motorcoach, and those critters sure can move...lol.  I've heard that they can maintain a speed of something like 30 mph for an hour or more, hopping *35 feet* with each jump, which speaks of their amazing endurance as well.

Personally, I think 'roo's would adapt just fine to the .38 gee of Mars...sure, they would hop higher and further, but they would probably be able to maintain the same sense of control and grace they do here on Earth, except they would be able to travel even faster and further than they do here on Earth...50 mph for two hours or more, perhaps??

I'd like to see how animals like cheetahs and gazelles would do on the open plains of a terraformed Mars as well...just imagine a live creature belting it out at 100 mph...that'd be an amazing sight to behold, for sure... big_smile

B

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#171 2004-04-24 07:50:53

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

What an amazing scene you conjure up, Byron! You've definitely got me hooked - I'd love to see how terrestrial animals would run on a terraformed Mars!
    I'm surprised at myself for never having given the whole thing more thought. Even that rather cruel part of KSR's 'Red Mars', when people took bets on how long a boar (I think it was) would take to die when released out of the airlock into the near vacuum of the thin martian 'air', didn't make me wonder about the speed an animal might attain in 0.38g. I imagined the poor terrified thing running but didn't take the notion further.
    I guess I've always thought that the lesser weight would reduce traction on the ground and limit the maximum speed - or something along those lines. But maybe I've been wrong all this time(?)
                                 ???


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#172 2004-04-24 08:05:39

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

What an amazing scene you conjure up, Byron! ...  I guess I've always thought that the lesser weight would reduce traction on the ground and limit the maximum speed - or something along those lines. But maybe I've been wrong all this time(?)
                                 ???

Different gravitational fields have been found to require humans to use different modes of locomotion for optimum efficiency. On Luna, the hopping action of the Apollo astronauts was soon found to be the best way, while here on Earth walking is the most energy-efficient motion. Apparently, on Mars, a loping run will get you from 'a' to 'b' with the least perspiration.
   Humans seem able to vary their gait relatively easily in order to adapt to prevailing gravitational fields but kangaroos are completely adapted to hopping; perhaps over-adapted. Maybe martian gravity would render them hopelessly unable to move around with any degree of grace at all(?).

*Well Shaun...you're doing a rather splendid job of it as well.  smile  Geez, it's all interesting to consider.  I suppose initially they'd be a bit disoriented (aren't we all, in new surroundings?) but would adapt fairly quickly.  I've never seen a kangaroo in real life, I don't think...maybe at a zoo, but I'm not sure.  Video, of course.  The real trick, though -- as we both know -- would be getting them from here to there to begin with...  -laugh-

Byron's started a thread in Terraforming along these lines...

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#173 2004-04-24 11:55:21

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

To answer Hazer's question, but not to bust in to you guys' kangaroo conversation, there has indeed been closed ecosystem research, the earliest attempts being done by Russia. Their system was totally self contained (save for the energy that was pumped in from the outside). A google search for "celss" should prove very informative (seems in the past two years, more research has poped up, as a search for celss back then resulted in few solid hits).

edit: gravity hasn't been able to be experimented with, however, but certainly light/air pressure.



Edited By Josh Cryer on 1082829372


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#174 2004-04-24 12:57:05

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

edit: gravity hasn't been able to be experimented with, however, but certainly light/air pressure.

You *can* simulate a fairly good 'pseudo' zero-g environment for plants with fairly low-cost stuff, on Earth...

(Possibly i even read it on these very boards, hmmm...)

: build a cupboard that rotates its shelves, 360° around their long axis and on that cupboard make trays that rotate around their centre axis (like clocks)

dunno about the speeds, it's fairly slow...

This way there is no up or down for the platns (you have to find a way to keep te soil in the trays... plastic sheeting etc...) and i believe experiments showed they 'root' in a very similar fashion as in real zero-gee...

of course, simulating pseudo Martian gravity that way?

Maybe put the contraption in *another rotating* machine...

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#175 2004-04-24 13:36:52

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Food! - Marsians=vegetarians?

This is a good place to put http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& … h]greenhab info:

http://chapters.marssociety.org/ttf/b_0 … _0.1.0.htm
http://chapters.marssociety.org/greenha … /greenhab/

If you go to the MDRS log pages, you can actually see daily iamges from GreenHab. Some really good stuff.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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