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#26 2015-10-18 09:42:45

Terraformer
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Do plants have problems with high spin rates, or can we build a (very) small centrifuge to see how they'd grow under different gravities...?


"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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#27 2015-10-18 11:10:16

RobertDyck
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

There haven't been a lot of experiments with plants in a centrifuge, but work that has been done leads us to suspect your idea would work. Plants grow up, using gravity as a direction sensor. Plants primarily grow toward a light source. And this latest experiment with a sunflower shows it is affected in unexpected and profound ways by zero-G. Animals respond in unexpected ways to chemical changes too; one researcher in Russia bred foxes farmed for fur to make them more docile. He produced foxes and tame as dogs. However, an unexpected consequence was traits that look like a dog. They developed floppy ears like a beagle. Analysis why makes researchers suspect breeding for docility reduced adrenalin, and that hormone change caused profound and unexpected changes in growth, resulting in floppy ears. With plants, lack of gravity means chemicals will not interact the same way. Those chemical changes cause change in plant growth.

Long way if saying it should work. Found this article, dated August of this year.
European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) - 08.05.15

The European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) is an ESA experiment facility that is dedicated to studying plant biology in a reduced gravity environment. It supports the cultivation, stimulation, and crew-assisted operation of biological experiments under controlled conditions (e.g. temperature, atmospheric composition, water supply, illumination, observation, and gravity). The facility has performed multi-generation (seed-to-seed) experiments and studies the effects of gravity and light on early development and growth, signal perception and transduction in plant tropisms. Experiments with insects, amphibia, and invertebrates as well as studies with cell and tissue cultures are also foreseen in EMCS.

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#28 2015-10-18 22:32:11

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

If we knew what we would have for a menu to chose from on Mars then we know what to grow in the greenhouse to modify the diet with....

Russian Cosmonauts Taste 160 Meals Ahead of Space Station Expedition

In prep or the March 2016 Expidition "Oleg Skripochka and Aleksey Ovchinin, crew members of the long-term expedition 47/48 to the ISS, completed tasting the onboard ration at the CTC [Cosmonaut Training Center]," they tasted 20 meals at each session, rating them on a scale of one to nine. Every crew carries out tastings six months prior to the mission, to determine whether cosmonauts have individual intolerances to some food products. Calorie content of the main part of the daily ration makes up 2,000 kilocalories.

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#29 2015-10-24 21:47:27

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Scientists at Washington State University and the University of Idaho are helping students figure out how to farm on Mars, You too can learn to farm on Mars

students identify potential challenges producing crops indefinitely and develop criteria for selecting crops. Students then use a scoring system to select three optimal foods.

In some 30 trial runs with students and teachers, "no two people have ever gotten the same answer," said Allen, a senior instructor of physics and astronomy and director of the WSU Planetarium.

"If I had to eat a single food for the rest of my life, could I do it?" Joyner asked.

But in a sense, farming and dining on the Red Planet is beside the point, Allen said.

"I'm not teaching about growing food on Mars," Allen said. "I'm teaching about living with choices. I'm teaching about problem solving."

We learned from Viking that when we add Water to Mars soil that it react with the peroxides in the soil, bubbling off as gas.

"Farming In Space? Developing a Sustainable Food Supply on Mars" can be found at
http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/ … 800&id=800

Here is the document that they were to follow
http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/ … arming.pdf

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#30 2017-05-28 15:33:09

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

I would like to try and bring Lious topic back to solar power and continue the Greenhouse materials back in one that is a bit better.

Any Dermonstrator which appears that we want on first mission is getting mixed in with other topics and the materials to make as well need to be in one that is better suited to the goal of bringing to Mars.

I di put forth a first mission trial way to do this with minimal mass for a crew to start the process of growing food and it suggested to not carry an inflateable green house on first mission as any empty cargo lander can serve as the space to grow food in.

In fact the second mission we can make use of all of the empty units if we are really going to grow food all that is needed then is supplemental power, lighting via colored LED, additional water, soil and other forms of trays to grow the plants with in and more seeds....

louis wrote:

Any cargo lander is going to be a tiny, tiny space! Enough to grow a lettuce every other day perhaps!

I think any farming effort has to be in dedicated farm habs, initially imported from Mars but after a few years being the product of ISRU.

Of course I do understand that we want to run before we can walk on Mars since we have been in such a long holding pattern since the moon.

louis wrote:

So, I may have misremembered re the area required to feed one person - my apologies. Your links suggest something more like 0.2 hectares (2000 sq, metres) should suffice with intensive farming. That's 44x44 metres.

So your 25 m3 would maybe equate to a growing area of about (I am using an average tray height partition of 40 cms) about 69 sq metres. Enough to feed one person for about  12 days if all goes well or 2 days for a crew of six. I really doubt it would be worth going to all that effort of converting a lander to that use (not going to be easy I imagine), rather than just pre-landing an inflatable farm hab.

I am as keen as anyone to get going with farming on Mars but I think for Mission One, a pre-landed mostly automated (just add water) small farm hab producing a few lettuces, tomatoes and other salad items would be the best approach.


SpaceNut wrote:

I am looking at the early times when we did not bring a greenhouse as to what can be done with what we have to make use of with the sugested use of the landers. The dragon is 25 m^3 internal volume and if we are growing fast growing plant crops we can space shelfs just a few feet appart inside with just enough soild for the crop we are planting in them.

I think that many are jumping to this level of food production Inside the World's Largest Indoor Farm a Q&A session
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/cont … .768.1.jpg

With others at this level Living off the land: How much land? with lots of good data on the sites page.

CROP YIELD VERIFICATION is 10,642 pounds per one acre of land. Therefore, the yield for 1/4 acre is 1/4 of that, or 2660 pounds.

With early on crop growth is more like this Urban farming is booming, but what does it really yield? Which is enough to give food.

https://ensia.com/wp-content/uploads/20 … 60x378.jpg

only mars would need to correct materials...

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#31 2017-05-28 15:37:53

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

RobertDyck wrote:

I have also posted before that on a planet that doesn't have a breathable atmosphere we need reliable, robust life support. I have described life support that uses multiple principles and components that can be mixed-and-matched in various configurations. However, power is a single point of failure. The only life support that works during power failure is an ambient light greenhouse. Stored oxygen and stored whole air will only last a very short time. If the reactor fails, it could take weeks to repair. Extended time without power could be fatal. Only an ambient light greenhouse provides life support with absolutely no power.

And as Louis pointed out, cargo landers are tiny.

I found a reference: NASA Mars Rovers Braving Severe Dust Storms July 20, 2007

For nearly a month, a series of severe Martian summer dust storms has affected the rover Opportunity and, to a lesser extent, its companion, Spirit. The dust in the Martian atmosphere over Opportunity has blocked 99 percent of direct sunlight to the rover, leaving only the limited diffuse sky light to power it. Scientists fear the storms might continue for several days, if not weeks.
...
Before the dust storms began blocking sunlight last month, Opportunity's solar panels had been producing about 700 watt hours of electricity per day, enough to light a 100-watt bulb for seven hours. When dust in the air reduced the panels' daily output to less than 400 watt hours, the rover team suspended driving and most observations, including use of the robotic arm, cameras and spectrometers to study the site where Opportunity is located.

On Tuesday, July 17, the output from Opportunity's solar panels dropped to 148 watt hours, the lowest point for either rover. On Wednesday, Opportunity's solar-panel output dropped even lower, to 128 watt hours.

Dropping solar power from 700 watt-hours per day to 128 watt-hours leaves 128/700=18.2857% power output. The article says Spirit was affected as severely as Opportunity, but this was the most severe case since those rovers landed in 2004. Any human mission will have to prepare for the worst case. Yes, greenhouses will require artificial light during a dust storm. But an ambient light greenhouse will provide life support (oxygen and water) when there isn't a dust storm, even during power failure.

Spirit Rests During Dust Storm Jan 04, 2007'

The southern hemisphere dust storm lowered power levels to 267 watt-hours on Spirit's 1,061st sol, or Martian day, of exploring Mars (Dec. 27, 2006).

That's 267/700=38.142857% power. Not as bad. So some dust storms allow enough light through. Mars receives 43.0726% as much sun as Earth, so 38.142857% of that would be 16.429% as much Earth. That compares to Earth at the equator in a desert with absolutely no cloud or haze. Crops that grow in shade would still grow in an ambient light greenhouse with that much light. And again, that's using light levels that Spirit experienced during a dust storm. Crops that like shade:

  • Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, and cress.

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Peas

  • Beets

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Radishes

  • Swiss Chard

  • Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale

  • Beans

Crops that require full sun: wheat, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, corn, and squashes

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#32 2017-05-28 15:40:56

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

I guess the question is how much would we need the greenhouse to be the back up for loss of power?
I know for the solar side that would be more than we would expect but for nuclear we would not so much need this protection unless we build inferior products.

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#33 2017-05-28 16:29:44

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

We have had some of this discussion before under Mars first crew greenhouse

Greenhouses under Life support

Material Choices for Mars

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#34 2017-05-28 16:32:50

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Antius wrote:

I agree with Robert that a naturally illuminated greenhouse will always be a more desirable means of producing food and oxygen from a systems reliability point of view.  The problem is that it would appear to be very difficult to keep it warm without a supplementary heat source for much of the Martian year.  The average temperature on Mars is about -55C.  If concentrated solar power is used to harvest extra heat, that has reliability issues and costs of its own.  If nuclear waste heat is used, that has reliability issues too and the greenhouse needs to be close to the reactor in order for piped heat to be feasible.  That complicates reactor shielding.  Less of an issue for a long-term base, but not a feasible solution for an expedition.

For early missions, enough stored food should be taken to cover the entire mission.  The oxygen needed for the surface stay and return trips should be stored before the crew even arrive.  For a long term base, the siting of the base should be chosen to allow natural food production at least in the summer.  At high/low latitudes outside of summer, natural illumination may not provide enough heat to keep the greenhouse above freezing.  Some modelling needs to be done to understand what the achievable growing season would be at different locations on Mars.  One good thing about food - it can be easily stored for years if need be at ambient Martian temperatures.  I think the problem with air is not so much providing additional oxygen, but removing excess CO2.  If you can't use plants to do this, it must be scrubbed out of the air using an electrically driven fan and chemical reactants.

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#35 2017-05-28 16:37:17

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

RobertDyck wrote:

My paternal grandparents had a wheat farm in Saskatchewan. It was several quarter sections. The house had a 3 acre vegetable garden. I didn't do a lot of work on the farm, but did help a little when I was a child. The house where I grew up had a substantial vegetable garden. The house I rented in Toronto in 1989/90 had a garden, 14 fruit trees, 6 grape vines (Italian wine grapes), rosemary, a few varieties of rose, and some flowers. My house today has a small vegetable garden, one mature apple tree (Goodland), 2 grape vines (Valiant), and a berry bush (Chokeberry).

Insect pollinators and their relative abundance on pea (pisum sativum) at Peshawar
Several flies, butterflies, lady bug.

Housing of a 3 acres inside a newly made greehouse might be quite a challenge on a first few mission as it might take that long to make.

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#36 2017-05-28 16:54:49

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Oldfart1939 wrote:

I've ranched ( as a part-time avocation) for 20+ years, and harvested 77 acres of grass hay annually. Have berry bushes (Red and Black Currants, Gooseberries, and Red Raspberries). Have in the past done some gardening with my late wife, who was a true "homesteader-type" woman. Raised both red and white (Russet) potatoes, tomatoes, Swiss Chard, Bell peppers, and various hot peppers, Eggplant, yellow straightneck and crookneck squash, and that everybody's favorite--zucchini. Also raised beets, radishes, and Red Kuri winter squash, along with acorn squash. Just establishing my "credentials" in order to comment here.

Yes we are going to need people to understand how much work feeding a crew from a real farm sized greenhouse is and what it will take to get the timing of crops to blend in for a continouse food supply. Nice additional plants and foods to help keep from being bored from dried rehydrated foods.

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#37 2017-05-28 16:59:01

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Oldfart1939 wrote:

The numbers being stated here are somewhat misleading, since what should be considered is calories per acre, which is the reason for this drill in the first place. Yes, salad greens are attractive, but hardly worth the effort if calories are considered. Turnips, potatoes, yams, and squashes are the best caloric return for the effort expended. Add in carrots and parsnips, if you will. Collard greens are much higher in caloric content than lettuce; ditto Swiss chard. For beans and squash, however, we need pollinators (bees, butterflies, lady bugs, etc.). Turnips and cabbage formed the diet in Germany during the W.W. I British blockade.

Yum Yum more good foods for the crew to dine on....

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#38 2017-05-28 17:07:03

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

RobertDyck wrote:

I keep thinking of Mars Direct. My mission plan is a modification of that. It included an inflatable greenhouse the same width as a double-car garage, and twice the length. That's between 80 and 100 square metres. Just for the inflatable transparent greenhouse. When Boris Yeltsin was president of Russia, many in the Mars Society argued to use the launch vehicle Energia. Robert Zubrin himself was the first to propose that in his book, published 1997 (one year before the founding of the Mars Society). Energia had roughly 2/3 lift capacity of Saturn V. Actually, Energia once lifted a 88 tonne satellite to 200km orbit, so more like 75% of Saturn V. Anyway, MD would take 3 launches. I had to make mine fit, so pre-land the MAV, and pre-land an inflatable laboratory with greenhouse and pressurized rover. If we use SLS block 2B, it breaks up differently. If we use Falcon Heavy, different again.

To make the greenhouse light-weight, use two layers of PCTFE film. For shape, hold-down straps secured with tent pegs. And I mean equivalent to pegs for an event tent (equivalent size). Light plastic soil trays, and a shovel. Mars regolith would be processed to form soil.

So lets get to the PCTFE film for the following pages I hope...

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#39 2017-05-28 17:14:31

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychlor … roethylene AKA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blister_pack

Blister packs are useful for protecting products against external factors, such as humidity and contamination for extended periods of time. Opaque blisters also protect light-sensitive products against UV rays. PCTFE is a thermoplastic chlorofluoropolymer with the molecular formula (CF2CClF)n, where n is the number of monomer units in the polymer molecule.

So unless we find insitu Flourine we will need to bring the greenhouse or send just the Flourine to be able to make the film.

Not sure of the layer thickness of the blister pack but this is not a flexible plastic but it is quite tough....

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#40 2017-05-28 17:32:03

RobertDyck
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Looking at Google Maps satellite photo of the house where I grew up... the original garden before we built the garage was about 1,440 square feet. The garden shrunk when we built the garage. New owners changed some stuff, the garden is completely gone now. But that's a house in a city. That garden was substantial, but a lot smaller than the farm.

The house I rented in Toronto had a 1,000 square foot garden. That neighbourhood has changed too. The next-door house replaced by a "Monster home". That house also had a shed with pigeon-coop attached, and a rabbit cage. Pigeon droppings in the coop. You're not allowed to raise livestock in the city, so I imagine city officials had words with the previous owners. Satellite photo shows the shed is still there.

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#41 2017-05-29 18:25:38

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Found you post in the indoor farming topic http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 72#p122272 after starting to post this: Trade name for PCTFE (Kel F®) (Aclon®) (Neoflon®) to which 3M discontinued manufacturing in 1996. PCTFE resin is mfd by Daikin under Neoflon® or Allied Signal under Aclon®. having these properties :Excellent electrical insulating properties, Low Outgassing
Temperature range (-400°F to 392°F)., Near-zero moisture absorption, Excellent chemical resistance, Ultraviolet stability

http://solutions.3m.com.tr/3MContentRet … =ImageFile

http://www.americandurafilm.com/film-di … ctfe-film/

These films come in a variety of homopolymer and copolymer configurations which enable them to be heat sealed thermoformed, laminated, sheeted, or die cut.

interesting site as this plays right into what we are doing on mars to a degree. Inflatable ETFE Roofs Give This Resort its Pinecone-Like Forms

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#42 2017-05-29 18:58:50

RobertDyck
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Allied Signal produces it? Ok. Honeywell produces it under two names: Clarus or Aclar. The former is marketed to military and aerospace, the later marketed to the pharmaceutical industry for blister packs for pills. Since the latter is commercial and disposable, and available in standard sizes, I expect the latter will be cheaper. Even though both are manufactured at the same facility on the same equipment. For Mars you will need Clarus, for quality assurance and so you can get the spectrally selective coating. The latter can be purchased for analogue research stations such as MDRS, or a greenhouse demonstrator.

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#43 2017-05-29 19:11:45

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Many of the greenhouse here on earth are using the coragated polycarbonate panels or sheet where are some the pages I saw were rolls more like suranwrap plastic sort of thin, So what thickness are we looking at to be flexible especially with 2 layers?

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#44 2017-05-30 01:07:04

RobertDyck
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

The premium quality polymer film for a greenhouse on Earth is Tefzel. It's ETFE, which is a co-polymer of ethylene with TFE (Tetra-Fluoro-Ethylene). I'm told the thinnest film that stands up is 2 mil. For pressure, we need at least 1 mil. But for Mars, taking into account warnings from those who built film greenhouses on Earth, I would recommend 2 mil film. Both ETFE and PCTFE are stronger than other polymer film, because they're fluoropolymers. Traditional polymer greenhouses on Earth use a frame, they aren't inflatable. Are you seriously going to try to do double layer thing? With roof held by air pressure, no frame? And hold-down straps tied to tent pegs? For an event tent, they use a piece of rebar for their pegs.

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#45 2017-05-30 17:37:47

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

I was looking to see if its practical to build but also to look at bonding to the outside floor a kevlar areogel platform for it to rest on with at least some sort of kevlar floor inside to keep it from being punctured by rocks and by crew walking with in it as plants are taken care of. The flooring pad would help to shape the inflateable and could be part of the hold down system as well...

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#46 2017-05-31 03:44:03

elderflower
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

The greenhouses will need to be circular in section to resist internal pressure. If semicircular the pressure differential between inside and outside will destroy a light structure unless there is a massive foundation to tie it to. It could be a sphere or a cylinder with hemispherical or elliptical ends. It will need something to rest on with the same curvature and without any objects that could penetrate it from outside. That something must protect the underlying regolith from being heated by the greenhouse and turning to mud, so it must be a very good insulator. Using this type of house you will only need to hold it down against the much smaller loads due to everyday activity and windage. I'm not sure whether there are Mars quakes to be considered.

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#47 2017-05-31 16:43:45

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Early Martian or moon settlers can either use LED lights or capture solar light and beam it underground using fiber optic bundles.

Nasa-Greenhouse-Lead-1020x400-768x301.jpg

The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse project will use a “bioregenerative life support system”, which imitates Earth’s environment in order to grow plants without exposure to the harsh conditions on Mars.

lunar-greenhouse-nasa-03-889x685-768x592.jpg

The 18-foot-long, 8-foot-wide structures are meant to be buried below the Martian soil, in order to provide protection from solar radiation, extreme dust storms and strong winds.

NASA Designs Inflatable Greenhouse To Feed Astronauts On Mars

NASA's inflatable greenhouse could feed astronauts on Mars

NASA scientists at the Kennedy Space Center are developing an inflatable cylindrical greenhouse for outer space with the University of Arizona.

https://www.ag.arizona.edu/lunargreenhouse/

https://www.ag.arizona.edu/lunargreenho … eviews.htm

http://www.marshome.org/files2/Hublitz1.pdf

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#48 2017-05-31 18:29:15

SpaceNut
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Well after reading qickly through some of the documents the size is for support of 1 crew man so the reuse of an empty capsule or cargo can will be the same volume and if we have solar the energy is within its capablility as well for that crops growth.

https://www.ag.arizona.edu/lunargreenho … omelli.pdf
slide 14 for volume of inflateable of the cyclinder is 2.1m Dia. x 5.5m long
Slide 20 Crops grown are Lettuce, tomato/cucumber, sweet potato, and strawberry or cowpea.
Slide 26 has the Energy balances and production efficiency with the times to wattage shown in next document
https://www.ag.arizona.edu/lunargreenho … terson.pdf

natural light source pipe to underground greenhouse https://www.ag.arizona.edu/lunargreenho … urfaro.pdf

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#49 2017-06-01 03:38:42

elderflower
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

If it is underground there is no point in making it transparent/translucent. Also the structure must be sufficiently strong to support the overburden in the event of depressurisation so it can be repaired and returned to service. And it will need to be fully insulated to prevent damage to regolith bound by ice.

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#50 2017-06-01 05:15:32

RobertDyck
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Re: Designing the best greenhouse demonstrator for Mars

Don't put it underground. There's no point. As I've stated many times, overall radiation on Mars is half that of ISS. And Mars atmosphere stops the worst kind of radiation. And plants are more durable vs radiation than humans. Insects are more durable too. Mammals have delicate membranes that are easily damaged by radiation. There's a small greenhouse on ISS right now.

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