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#276 2016-05-02 17:39:28

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,869

Re: Crops

Loius its not the number of growing season as so much what gets grown simutainously that gives you a complete supply of all food types to create meals from....matching cycles to provide just the right amount of each so that any surplus is then canned or preserved for later use in other forms rather than just in raw form...

If it takes x time to grow letuce and you want cucumbers for it then y for cucumbers need to time out such that the cycles match within reason to allow for that meal...this is one of the reasosn that I have said that we need to have a menu with the growing cycles put into practice here first to help guide how we will start growing and continuing to grow without wasting food....

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#277 2016-05-03 08:22:52

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,875

Re: Crops

Well it's both, in the sense that you need to build up an agricultural surplus as quickly as possible.  Again, it is artificially lit indoor farming that will generate the required range of foodstuffs in the shortest possible time.

I would agree that with a small community you would have a close match between menu and farming.  The beauty is that with indoor farming this can all be controlled by computer programmes that can allocate growth periods and draw up menus accordingly.

SpaceNut wrote:

Loius its not the number of growing season as so much what gets grown simutainously that gives you a complete supply of all food types to create meals from....matching cycles to provide just the right amount of each so that any surplus is then canned or preserved for later use in other forms rather than just in raw form...

If it takes x time to grow letuce and you want cucumbers for it then y for cucumbers need to time out such that the cycles match within reason to allow for that meal...this is one of the reasosn that I have said that we need to have a menu with the growing cycles put into practice here first to help guide how we will start growing and continuing to grow without wasting food....


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#278 2016-05-03 09:45:44

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,213
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Re: Crops

louis: I already told you. A greenhouse is the only life support system that produces oxygen during complete power failure. Power is a single point of failure. Claiming it isn't doesn't make it so. I've already detailed life support:

ISS system: oxygen from water electrolysis, Sabatier reactor, regenerable CO2 sorbent, water recycling
auxiliary: direct CO2 electrolysis
bottled O2
bottled whole air
oxygen candles
spacesuits

This can be mixed and matched in interesting ways. ISPP includes MACDOF (Mars Atmosphere Carbon DiOxide Freezer) to harvest CO2 from Mars atmosphere. It also includes direct CO2 electrolysis, but the hab will also have direct CO2 electrolysis for life support. Equipment from ISPP can be used to augment life support.

A permanent settlement will require water, so a water source of some sort: permafrost, glacier, frozen pack ice. That Mars ice will be melted and filtered for life support and to supply the greenhouse. It will be recycled, after all recycling requires less energy than harvesting salty, muddy ice from Mars. But if we run short, get more. That water can be run into the electrolysis tank to produce oxygen.

However, the single point of failure in all this is power. It is a single point of failure. Stored oxygen, whole air, and candles will only last so long. If power failure lasts too long, astronauts will die. The solution is ambient light greenhouse.

The greenhouse will not only produce food, it will produce oxygen. And water evaporates from leaves, that humidity will condense on cold windows. Water filtered by plants is far cleaner and better tasting than the best filtration system humans have ever devised. Simply putting a trough along the bottom of windows will collect that condensate, producing clean tasting water. And it doesn't use power, sunlight heats the greenhouse and powers plants, cold of Mars air condenses humidity. As long as sun shines and Mars is cold this will recycle water. Well, you still have to process sewage into grey water to water the soil. That can also have a manual backup, operating with no power what so ever.

Whenever anyone says "we will use indoor farming" what I hear is "we will be stuck on Earth".

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-05-03 20:14:31)

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#279 2016-05-03 13:08:14

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,875

Re: Crops

RD - I heard you but it would only produce oxygen as long as not hit by a meteorite strike. End of your "fail safe" system if it is.

There are lots of ways, as I have already explained and as you note in your description of the ISS, of squaring off the risk of oxygen failure, for instance having a 100 separate separate oxygen cylinders, oxygen making machines, oxygen candle stores, oxide burning furnaces etc  in and around the settlement.

I don't know why you keep saying power is a single point of failure. It would only be if you had something like a single nuclear reactor or a single solar mirror.  My vision is that you would have several different power systems including storage systems.  Under this approach
you would have separate PV systems with their own inverters and cabling etc So maybe for a colony of six you would perhaps have 3 or four separate PV systems placed at some distance from each other.  In addition you would have significant battery storage, able to keep the colony going on emergency power for weeks.  Furthermore, I think we would pre-land methane and also produce methane as soon as we get to Mars - so there would be large-scale methane storage which could power the colony for months.  As further back-up you might have small wind turbines that could be erected at short notice. I've read about burning metals - this seems like a viable additional form of power storage. We can also take along some small nuclear reactors - RTGs - if further assurance is required.

I don't think water acquisition will be a problem at all on Mars and storage (as ice) will be easy.

When I hear plans for natural light farming on Mars I think "That's the Planet Earth way of feeding yourself. We need a new model for Mars."

RobertDyck wrote:

louis: I already told you. A greenhouse is the only life support system that produces oxygen during complete power failure. Power is a single point of failure. Claiming it isn't doesn't make it so. I've already detailed life support:

ISS system: oxygen electrolysis, Sabatier reactor, regenerable CO2 sorbent, water recycling
auxiliary: direct CO2 electrolysis
bottled O2
bottled whole air
oxygen candles
spacesuits

This can be mixed and matched in interesting ways. ISPP includes MACDOF (Mars Atmosphere Carbon DiOxide Freezer) to harvest CO2 from Mars atmosphere. It also includes direct CO2 electrolysis, but the hab will also have direct CO2 electrolysis for life support. Equipment from ISPP can be used to augment life support.

A permanent settlement will require water, so a water source of some sort: permafrost, glacier, frozen pack ice. That Mars ice will be melted and filtered for lie support and to supply the greenhouse. It will be recycled, after all recycling requires less energy than harvesting salty, muddy ice from Mars. But if we run short, get more. That water can be run into the electrolysis tank to produce oxygen.

However, the single point of failure in all this is power. It is a single point of failure. Stored oxygen, whole air, and candles will only last so long. If power failure lasts too long, astronauts will die. The solution is ambient light greenhouse.

The greenhouse will not only produce food, it will produce oxygen. And water evaporates from leaves, that humidity will condense on cold windows. Water filtered by plants is far cleaner and better tasting than the best filtration system humans have ever devised. Simply putting a trough along the bottom of windows will collect that condensate, producing clean tasting water. And it doesn't use power, sunlight heats the greenhouse and powers plants, cold of Mars air condenses humidity. As long as sun shines and Mars is cold this will recycle water. Well, you still have to process sewage into grey water to water the soil. That can also have a manual backup, operating with no power what so ever.

Whenever anyone says "we will use indoor farming" what I hear is "we will be stuck on Earth".

Last edited by louis (2016-05-03 13:19:56)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#280 2016-05-03 19:54:45

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,869

Re: Crops

Sure a mars rover is not stationary and is about 1000 times smaller but the sky is not falling...so most likely the greenhouse will not be struck....
Power is only generated by 1 source and stored by only 1 type of storage is yes a single point failure possible but once we generate power in more than 1 manner and store it as well in another not batteries then we are moving away from single point failure modes...
This also holds true for oxygen creation and water as well in that once you have more than 1 means you do move away from the single point failure modes.

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#281 2016-05-03 21:03:54

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Posts: 6,213
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Re: Crops

Heated sealed greenhouse farms are hardly how food is grown on Earth. There are a few "hot houses", heated greenhouses. However, most produce is grown outdoors. I don't see indoor farming a solution for Earth or Mars. It just isn't efficient. I gave photovoltaic efficiency, and LED efficiency. You need much greater area of solar arrays than area of crops. With an ambient light greenhouse, all you need is windows, typically a glass roof. Rather than "vertical farming", I would argue for greenhouses on downtown skyscraper roofs. Actually, I would like to see houses and low building such as shopping malls covered in solar panels. That is combination photovoltaic and solar thermal.

Houses should have good insulation, but just equivalent to an R-2000 house, which is a standard that began in the 1970s. The entire roof should be a solar array, with photovoltaic cells for solar collection, and black so any sunlight that isn't converted to electricity is converted to heat. Bond the photovoltaic cells to a copper manifold with water running through. Use the same pressed channel technology that Russia developed for the exhaust cone of their copy of Space Shuttle Main Engines. Russia used titanium, with a smooth inner sheet, the outer sheet had channels pressed in. Traditional brazing compound was placed between them. The top was welded, and the bottom, so only 2 weld seams. The cone was then placed in an oven hot enough to melt the brazing compound, but not enough to melt titanium. Simpler and cheaper than the titanium tubes based on golf club shafts that NASA came up with. For the solar array manifold, use copper; instead of brazing compound use silver solder. The top sheet must be flat to mount the solar cells. Bond solar cells to the manifold with the same thermal compound use to mount a computer's CPU to a heat sink. Cover the solar array with a single sheet of PCTFE plastic, because it's strong, can withstand cold deeper than the coldest winter on Earth, highly resistant to UV because UV just goes right through, and the second most transparent polymer on Earth. Stretch PCTFE film as intermediate "panes" between the top sheet and photovoltaic cell. Coat the top sheet with Teflon AF, which is the only polymer more transparent than PCTFE, has the lowest optical index of any polymer so acts as anti-glare coating, and is a true amorphous so very scratch resistant. "AF" = Amorphous Fluoropolymer. Insulate the back of the manifold with polyurethane foam insulation. That's better insulation than styrofoam, and fits into odd shapes better, like the pressed channels of the manifold. This keeps heat on the manifold, so heat can be used to preheat water, reducing energy needed for the water heater. It also extends life of photovoltaic cells; they typically fail when they heat so much that solder connections melt. The manifold will prevent them from getting that hot. With insulation on the back of solar panels, attic insulation won't be necessary. So this simplifies house construction, and helps defray cost. Furthermore, air between the last polymer film and photovoltaic cell will be connected to the house heating system. So heat can be used to heat air for the house. Should heat be used to heat air or water? That is a balance the house computer can manage.

Add a windmill in the back yard, batteries in the basement, and a geothermal heat pump. This makes the house entirely energy independent; in fact it would produce surplus power which would be sold to the grid. So the home owner would receive a cheque from the power utility every month, not a bill. Under worst case conditions in the middle of winter, the house would not sell any power to the grid, but wouldn't buy any either. That would last up to a week. For the rest of the month, power would flow to the grid. So the home owner would receive a cheque every month; larger in summer and smaller in winter, but every month.

Many states in the US currently use coal burning to produce electricity. So a vertical farm that uses electricity is producing great carbon emissions from the coal burning power plant that supplies it. This isn't environmentally friendly at all.

On Mars? Efficiency also dictates that we use ambient lighting. So both for life support in case of power failure, and efficiency.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-05-05 08:24:06)

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#282 2016-05-04 14:56:14

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Posts: 3,311
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Re: Crops

Potatoes can get quite high yields.

In Vermont, that works out to 25 kg/m^2. What would it be on Mars? How does the insolation compare? If we can get 10 kg/m^2., then we need around 150 m^2/person to meet their calorific needs. Plus, potatoes can grow in quite low quality soils.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#283 2016-05-04 15:45:05

IanM
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Crops

150 m^2 is the square with slightly less than 12.25 m on either side. It's equivalent to slightly less than 1,614.6 sq ft., which likewise is the square produced by slightly more than 40' 2.2" on either side. For a colony of six, potatoes would take up 9,687.6 sq ft. or slightly less than 0.223 acres, and for 100 it would be 161,460 sq ft., slightly less than 3.71 acres. While there are more efficient crops than this, such as corn and legumes, neither are true substitutes for the vast array of uses of the potato, and as Terraformer implies, we could have a higher-yield crop than 10 kg/m^2.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#284 2016-05-04 18:02:14

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,869

Re: Crops

This is an example of carrots, spinach and salad mix
SpinFarming2-2gi24ll.jpg

This is a commercial effort for small  farming but its the clostest to what we would in a mars greenhouse...
http://spinfarming.com/spinfarmers/ lots of farmer web sites that are in for a profit for what they grow.

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#285 2016-05-05 07:00:51

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,311
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Re: Crops

As far as I know, corn isn't any more efficient than potatoes on a calorie/m^2 basis, at least not in commercial farming (potatoes produce 40 tonnes per hectare, whilst corn produces 8 tonnes). Of course, that's probably nowhere near the max that's possible, even with unmodified plants.

However, isn't corn quite an energy hungry plant that requires lot's of sunlight? Whereas potatoes do well in shady areas - or under the lower insolation available at Mars...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#286 2016-05-05 08:26:20

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: Crops

Terraformer wrote:

As far as I know, corn isn't any more efficient than potatoes on a calorie/m^2 basis, at least not in commercial farming (potatoes produce 40 tonnes per hectare, whilst corn produces 8 tonnes). Of course, that's probably nowhere near the max that's possible, even with unmodified plants.

However, isn't corn quite an energy hungry plant that requires lot's of sunlight? Whereas potatoes do well in shady areas - or under the lower insolation available at Mars...

If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, place a vertical mirror to the North of your greenhouse, if you are in the Southern Hemosphere, place a vertical mirror to the South of your greenhouse. A flat vertical mirror will double the insolation your plants receive from an average of 595 watts per square meters to 1190 watts per square meter. As a comparison, the Earth gets 1380 watts per square meter, but that is before you take average cloud cover into consideration, the Earth has some, Mars has very little, so it gets almost the full 595 watts per square meter near the equator every day. Put a tall mirror next to a greenhouse opposite the arc of the Sun, and the plants will get two Suns shining down on them with two Suns rising in the East from the north and south, two suns shining down at noon, and two suns setting in the west. One requirement is that the greenhouse be outside the Martian tropics, it the greenhouse is in the tropics, the mirror will have to be moved as the seasons change.

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#287 2016-05-05 15:20:31

IanM
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Crops

Terraformer wrote:

As far as I know, corn isn't any more efficient than potatoes on a calorie/m^2 basis, at least not in commercial farming (potatoes produce 40 tonnes per hectare, whilst corn produces 8 tonnes). Of course, that's probably nowhere near the max that's possible, even with unmodified plants.

However, isn't corn quite an energy hungry plant that requires lot's of sunlight? Whereas potatoes do well in shady areas - or under the lower insolation available at Mars...

Also fair enough - I've just been noticing that corn is one of the most fruitful of plants per acre from my calculations throughout this forum, and is likely the most efficient of the grains. We could also perhaps use both ambient light and artificial light either as a supplement or an emergency backup during a dust storm or other cover. Or also, for all plants, install mirrors as has been discussed.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

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#288 2016-05-06 05:59:40

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Posts: 3,311
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Re: Crops

Well, that's a result of present-day Terra's unusually low CO2 levels. If you grow them in elevated CO2, wheat is as productive as corn. Differences between C3 and C4 plants.

Potatoes are C3 plants, so if grown in an elevated CO2 environment, they should outperform corn significantly.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#289 2016-05-06 09:32:42

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Crops

Artificial illumination of crops is power hungry and for a long time on Mars, electricity isn't going to be cheap.  Meteorites won't be a problem - the Martian atmosphere is thick enough to burn up anything smaller than half an inch in diameter.  The odds of getting hit by something bigger are slim.

Dust is likely to be problematic.  The atmosphere is dry and thin and fine dust particles blown off the surface will tend to pick up static charge.  They will stick to anything non-conductive and removing them from transparent surfaces will require constant effort.  On the other side of things, the dryness of the Martian environment offers advantages that do not exist on Earth.  We can make domes from compressed soil blocks, run light tubes through them and cap them at both ends with glass panes.  A layer of dust and rock would add counter weight against the internal pressure.  This could turn out to be a very cheap way of making habitable space, as a compressed soil block machine can produce hundreds of blocks per hour and consumes a fraction of the energy needed to produce baked blocks.  It would work well on Mars thanks to the fine clay-like soil and the lack of moisture.  Domes hundreds of metres in diameter are possible.

When manufacturing is up and running on Mars, pressurised greenhouses can be produced from repeatable hexagonal steel frames with glass panes doped to screen out UV.  The frames can be anchored to the ground using steel ropes or tendons.  The edges of the greenhouse will be sealed against internal pressure by thick berms of compressed soil.  This might be easiest if the edges were excavated.

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#290 2016-05-06 21:40:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 19,869

Re: Crops

I agree Antius with the more advanced build of a geodesic dome using the insitu materials once we have the ability to process the raw materials into the glass and steel. This does mean that we will need to make room for that amount of mass shift from the necessity of life support to allow for this equipment to be landed in order for the crew to begin to build the more permanent base on mars. The only other means is to preload the site of selection with this insitu processing materials.

The Initial greenhouse will be very light weight and probably not as large as we would want to support a complete crews diet but rather a means to leverage the next one to go with it to make it possible to completely feed the crew.

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#291 2016-05-07 06:05:43

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,875

Re: Crops

Your idea about compressed soil blocks is very interesting - I wasn't aware that is an option on Mars.  It certainly needs looking into.

However, I think you are failing to properly assess the energy question. The fact is that the early colonists will always have an abundance of energy at their disposal and it won't be costly in terms of the overall mission. With super-light PV panelling available at 5 grams per square metre, and a $1000 per kg launch cost (as the basis for overall cost of delivery to Mars), I would estimate that the cost of delivering 10,000 square metres of PV panelling with all associated equipment (e.g. cabling, inverters, batteries and so on) to the Mars surface would come in at under $5 million - and that is in comparison with an overall mission cost for mission one of perhaps $20,000 million. In other words, the comparative cost is miniscule.  You could double your PV provision, and it would have hardly any effect on overall mission cost, which relates far more to development costs, and the huge array of support staff back on Earth. [Incidentally my calculations assume that once on Mars we would use PV energy to manufacture methane as the best form of energy storage for Mars - as opposed to importing heavy lithium batteries - so I think we would only need about 500 kgs of battery storage, in addition to what you would have in your spacecraft.]

Once you are on planet Mars, the real measure of cost is labour time (because Mars colonists will have a huge range of tasks to undertake and there is not an endless supply of labour).  That's the great thing about PV energy - it involves very little labour input to operate. And we have plenty of (good) experience of operating with  PV panels on Mars.  So, to substitute PV energy for labour makes sense.

The problem with natural light greenhouses, is (a) they require a huge labour input in terms of construction (because the construction requirements will be far more complex than for cut and cover and because they will need to be over a much larger area) and (b) they will require a lot more labour input for the food production process. 

With artificially lit indoor farming, all inputs can be strictly controlled (by computer) to deliver a perfect result in terms of food production. With natural light there will be natural weather variation within the climate parameters, meaning that you will have to monitor all your food plants to see how they are doing, and make assessments accordingly - after which you will have to make decisions about how to respond and then you will need to respond.  Even just walking around a natural light facility will take a lot more time than a tiered covered facility. You can have as much as 4 or 5 tray layers for some plants within one building.



Antius wrote:

Artificial illumination of crops is power hungry and for a long time on Mars, electricity isn't going to be cheap.  Meteorites won't be a problem - the Martian atmosphere is thick enough to burn up anything smaller than half an inch in diameter.  The odds of getting hit by something bigger are slim.

Dust is likely to be problematic.  The atmosphere is dry and thin and fine dust particles blown off the surface will tend to pick up static charge.  They will stick to anything non-conductive and removing them from transparent surfaces will require constant effort.  On the other side of things, the dryness of the Martian environment offers advantages that do not exist on Earth.  We can make domes from compressed soil blocks, run light tubes through them and cap them at both ends with glass panes.  A layer of dust and rock would add counter weight against the internal pressure.  This could turn out to be a very cheap way of making habitable space, as a compressed soil block machine can produce hundreds of blocks per hour and consumes a fraction of the energy needed to produce baked blocks.  It would work well on Mars thanks to the fine clay-like soil and the lack of moisture.  Domes hundreds of metres in diameter are possible.

When manufacturing is up and running on Mars, pressurised greenhouses can be produced from repeatable hexagonal steel frames with glass panes doped to screen out UV.  The frames can be anchored to the ground using steel ropes or tendons.  The edges of the greenhouse will be sealed against internal pressure by thick berms of compressed soil.  This might be easiest if the edges were excavated.

Last edited by louis (2016-05-07 06:18:38)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#292 2016-05-07 08:23:25

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,213
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Re: Crops

Current state-of-the-art space solar panels: Spectrolab NXT: NeXT Triple Junction panels
For panel area >2.5m²:
power (28°C, Beginning Of Life): 366 W/m²
mass (add-on to substrate, 3 mil Ceria Doped Coverslide): 1.76 kg/m² (5.5 mil thick cell)

Aclar UltRx2000 Datasheet
Tensile Strength (Machine Direction): 7,000 – 10,000 psi (48 - 69 MPa)
thickness: 2.00 mil (51µm) 73°F - 50% Relative Humidity
Specific Gravity: 2.11

Honewell gives mass in Specific Gravity, which means mass per unit volume relative to water. You then have to convert to mass per unit area of film based on thickness.

An inflatable greenhouse would have two layers of film, with a gap between layers. You need top, bottom, sides, or work out total area of the dome including bottom, or squashed cylinder including bottom, etc. Now compare launch mass of an inflatable greenhouse to launch mass of photovoltaic panels (don't forget the substrate, which is backing material to mount the cells), plus batteries, plus power electrical equipment, plus lights. Plus you still need some sort of pressure enclosure for your greenhouse.

On Mars, glass is made by taking pure white sand, heat until it's melted, add soda (sodium oxide) and lime (calcium oxide) while molten. Mix. Then pour onto something that will form windows. Smelting aluminum from anorthite or bytownite ore will produce silica gel as byproduct; that can be calcinated (heated to dry) then melted. Silica gel can be used instead of white sand, but you still have to add soda and lime. Manufacturing of photovoltaic cells is far more complex, involving a lot of chemicals and extremely pure rare elements. I don't see photovoltaic manufacturing on Mars for a long time.

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#293 2016-05-07 14:16:19

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Crops

I think Louis was talking about thin film PV on some sort of lightweight backing, a polymer or foil.  Presumably, this would be glued to some kind of substrate when it gets to Mars.  It wouldn't need to be anything special, a smooth concrete surface would do the trick, maybe even adobe.  Abrasion might be a problem for a lining so thin.

Even if the mass estimate is optimistic by a factor of 10, it may still be cheaper to build PV arrays and generate spectrum optimised light for a compact vertical farm within a human habitat.  Any waste heat then goes directly into the habitat and helps keep it warm and gardening does not involve taking a radiation dose.  Keeping a greenhouse above freezing throughout the Martian night is a challenging problem.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of combining compact synthetic light food growth with a fusion reactor.  The day human beings master those two technologies will be the day we no longer depend on stars for our energy.  We could live just as happily in a comet shell world in the Oort cloud, or on a rogue planet, as we would on Earth or anywhere else.  Quite a remarkable transition if you think about it.

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#294 2016-05-10 21:47:05

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Posts: 6,213
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Re: Crops

Back to crops, the topic of this thread.

Facon is made from tempe: fremented soy. It requires a special variety of yeast just for tempe. Instruction video starting with raw soy beans...
How to make Tempe

This video explains different products. It says tempeh is made with a type of mould. The above video just ferments with yeast, no mould. (Spelled with or without an 'h'?)
Tofu Vs. Tempeh Vs. Seitan

One recipe to make facon (fake bacon) from tempeh. Ingredients: tempeh, water, fennel seeds, cumin, soy sauce, garlic, pepper.
Facon Bacon

So add fennel to my list of spices, and that special type of yeast.

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#295 2016-05-11 19:33:14

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,869

Re: Crops

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennel
Foeniculum_vulgare_-_K%C3%B6hler%E2%80%93s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-148.jpg


fennel-bulb-trimmed.jpg

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-cumin.htm
ground-cumin-powder.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_sauce
made from a fermented paste of boiled soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds

Seems that alot of things are made from the fermenting process so we will need plenty of yeast....

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#296 2016-05-11 22:21:43

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,213
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Re: Crops

DIY- How to Make Rice Flour

Tools needed:

  • Blender

  • Fine-mesh Strainer

  • Paper towels

  • Large Skillet

  • Heat-resistant Spatula

  • Sifter

Ingredients:

  • White Basmati Rice- Raw (not instant rice)

  • Water

Every cup of raw rice will yield almost 1 1/4 cups of sifted Rice Flour.

Step 1:  Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold running water. Drain briefly.  Put the rice into a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 3 (minimum) to 6 (maximum) hours.

Step 2:  Drain the rice in a fine-mesh strainer for 10-15 minutes.  Spread the rice out on a triple layer of paper towels to dry for an hour or so.  The rice should be just slightly damp... not wet.

Step 3:  Use your blender to grind the rice in 1/2 cup increments. Begin with the pulse setting, allowing the rice to settle in between 3 second pulses. When the rice has broken down into small granules, blend on high until the texture is powder-fine. Repeat this process until all the rice has been finely ground.

Step 4:  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Working in 1 cup increments, add the rice flour to the pan. Stir constantly until all of the steam has evaporated.  Continue cooking for a couple more minutes.

Note: The resulting rice flour should be snow white.  If it begins to brown, immediately lift the pan up and lower the heat.

Test for doneness (dryness) by taking a pinch between your fingers. Properly dried flour will not stick together.

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Step 5:  Sift the rice flour.  Return any residual "clumps" back into your blender for reprocessing, then sift again.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container... or get cookin'... because now you have rice flour for that special recipe you've always wanted to try.

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#297 2016-05-12 17:16:19

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,869

Re: Crops

Well celery came to mind from the above image of Fennel
Repost from another topic cause its pretty....

While Nutraffin muffins may not be that close to a staple food for long duration it does have its nutritional points.
But are you really Ready for dinner on Mars?

TT_pic00467_L.jpg

Perhaps 'Martian bread and green tomato jam', 'Spirulina gnocchis' and 'Potato and tomato mille-feuilles' .

But can we grow these types of plants?

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#298 2016-05-13 00:26:07

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,213
Website

Re: Crops

Keycon is the annual local science fiction convention. It's been the Victoria Day long weekend every year since 1984. This year that's May 20-22. I'll give my usual talk on what's going on in space. Lot's to talk about: Falcon 9 landing, Falcon Heavy, Red Dragon, New Shepard, Orion, SLS, Deep Space Habitat, Curiosity, InSight, Mars 2020. Virgin Galactic hasn't been heard from since the crash. Most conventions have a hospitality suite, but Keycon does it different. They invite local fan clubs to host a suite, and dress it up in the theme for their club. It's a way to promote their club. It's become so popular that they fill an entire floor of 2-room suites. One science fiction club, formerly Star Trek but now more general, is preparing a theme of Star Trek's 50th anniversary. One of their members is really talented with graphics, he prepared Star Trek themed posters and notices. One said "Soylent Green", "Not Made of People". Of course that got me thinking...

The name "Soylent" is derived from "Soy" and "Lentil". It's supposed to be a protein food, made at a time of overpopulation and food scarcity. Ignoring the absurd plot twist from the movie, how would that be made? I'm actually going to try it, see if I can have something ready for the Con Suite.

I'm thinking tofu and cooked lentils. Because the name is "green", use green lentils. I bought a package of medium firm tofu. Soy and lentil are both legumes, high in protein but amino acids aren't in balance. Traditionally rice is added to balance aminos. The saying is it's necessary for a "complete" protein, but they all have all the aminos, just some are scarce. But those scarce in legumes are plentiful in rice, and vice versa. So add rice flour. That's just pulverized white rice (see above). Meat substitute requires some sort of oil or fat, but the implication for this food is meat isn't available. So vegetable oil. But to make it "green", and to make it healthy, add hemp oil. That's clear as other vegetable oil, but with a strong green tint. Hemp oil includes a strong concentration of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and the ratio is 1:3. Add fennel, cumin, sea salt, black pepper for meat-like spices. Idea taken from "facon", see above. Hemp seeds are said to be a good source of iron, magnesium, zinc, protein is more complete than legumes and easier to digest than meat. So whole roasted shelled hemp seeds. A local store specializes in hemp, has a lot hemp clothing but used to carry seeds, oil and soap. The local food bank gave away a bottle of oil some time ago; volunteers were surprised when I accepted it. Keep it in the fridge so it doesn't spoil; hemp oil has enough organic stuff that it can. I found a recipe for tofu fudge mocha bars, I'm adapting a lot. It says blend then bake @ 325°F for 25 to 30 minutes. We'll see how it turns out.

Soylent green is a cute curiosity, not a serious food for Mars. The pretty vegan woman is going this year. Her neighbour volunteers at food banks, and drops off a package periodically, ensuring its gluten free for Lynn. However, Lynn gives almost all of it away. Most ends up at my door, including any/all canned meat. Last time she brought her boyfriend along. So he's real, he actually exists. Damn!

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#299 2016-05-13 03:57:33

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,311
Website

Re: Crops


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#300 2016-05-13 08:13:19

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,213
Website

Re: Crops

I knew those guys sell a powder. You add water for a meal replacement drink. They claim you can live on nothing but, however when a group of people tried they found they needed something more. And they include maltodextrin, modified starch, isomaltulose, trehalose, sucralose, and docosahexaenoic acid from algal oil. All highly modified and questionable. I didn't know they had an all natural DIY recipe.

Their recipe isn't "soy" or "lentil" so how can you call it "soylent"? Whatever. I didn't read the book, but I'm told there were several varieties of soylent, identified by colour. Let's call their commercial powder "soylent white", their DIY recipe "soylent brown", and mine "soylent green".
tumblr_n9qr0aC8IS1tre0pho4_250.gif

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