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#1 2015-12-29 21:23:12

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,390

Spirulina

Reference post:
http://www.newmars.com/forums/viewtopic … 31#p127131

The next few posts as well as the one indicated are why the topic is being generated.

I would like to flesh out each food item as best that we can for key issues.

Such as the foot print required to grow a crop in to feed the crew, the growth rate from seddling to a ripe crop, yield amount for what is planted, crop respiration that the crew can make use of to breath with, water needs, heat, how to process it if required, how to preserve for longer edible use ect.....

Why we would want this is to be able to converge the common items into a list with the mass and look at what does not make sense.

Hopefully others will contribute...

http://www.algaecollection.com/
Spirulina Growth Media & Growth Rate Calculator

http://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/gr … a-at-home/
Personal-pbrs-in-window.jpg

http://www.climatebabes.com/documents/A … vation.pdf
Spirulina platensis Growth in Open Raceway Ponds Using Fresh Water
Supplemented with Carbon, Nitrogen and Metal Ions

http://www.antenna.ch/en/documents/Jourdan_UK.pdf
GROW YOUR OWN SPIRULINA

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#2 2015-12-30 14:07:55

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Spirulina

I Presume we can consider how it might be useful in the 1st years of habitation, and also how it might later become a specialty industry.

I will try to begin learning to think in the mode you desire, but it is not true nature for me.  So any answers from me could come latter.

I will need RobertDyck's help as well, because I really don't know what is practical for windows on Mars.  I have strong reservations on this now, and think I should default to his thinking in the matter.

The brutality of the U.V. is epic.  I know that NASA has plans for greenhouses, but I bet they don't plan those greenhouses to last for very long, just the duration of a mission.

I am not really answering your question in the manner you desire, but one possible work around, would be to build heliostats.  Something we would want at some stage anyway.  I have previously suggested heliostats and a tower.  But of course then you are then hitting your windows with reflected light with U.V. unless you can selectively reflect just the wavelengths you want.  If you do achieve the selective reflection, then your tower windows are still exposed to ambient light, which would contain U.V.

A work around would be to have a heliostat with selective reflectance, and have a greenhouse for Spirulina built into it.  In other worlds if your heliostat is reflecting sunlight from the south, then your little bottle greenhouse would be south of the mirror, and would be protected from most U.V. by an enclosure with just one opening on the north of the enclosure allowing selectively reflected light to impinge on the bottle.

In this scheme, you are doing a batch process.  Problems to overcome are night cold which might freeze and break the bottle, and the slow release of nutrients to the Spirulina, and the harvest method.  I presume the bottles would be exchanged periodically.  If this were a large scale machine, you might be using some kind of lift truck, and bringing the bottles into a harvesting chamber.

A harvesting chamber might be a two story structure with the harvest chamber below, and a human viewing and action station above.

It might use robotic arms run by joy sticks by humans above.  It would be radiation protected.

I know that this is not a solution for immediate occupancy of Mars, and likely not what you want most.  However, if the method were mastered, and indeed humans could mass produce these heliostats with incorporated Spirulina greenhouses, and if they could service them in the harvesting chambers, the total produced "Crop" is almost unlimited.  (Except by limits of construction and maintenance imposed by personal and robot limits).

Such Heliostat greenhouses would be simply robots that spin.  The Greenhouse bottles would be robots that release nutrients into the bottle, and perhaps stir the mix.

I will not take any offense if someone else can give Spacenut a more practical immediate solve for the first habitation of Mars, using Spirulina.

Last edited by Void (2015-12-30 14:21:35)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#3 2015-12-30 21:15:08

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,390

Re: Spirulina

Void I know very little about Spirulina but will add what I learn here with the likes to a site that RobertDyck's is very familiar with which is http:/www.motherearthnews.com

Spirulina Cultivation
It appears that Spirulina likes extreme alkalinity of the water. Its quite a lengthy article so enjoy the read....

Hope about some green Beer for St. Paddy's Day
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-foo … s-day.aspx

beer.jpg?la=en

To make your natural green beer, simply add 1 tablespoon of wheat grass juice or ¼ to ½ teaspoon of spirulina to a 16-ounce beer and stir. Celebrate responsibly.

Or for the health food person
Super Spring Greens Smoothie Recipe

To sneak in some extra cheap-but-healthy greens, try them out in your morning smoothie. A basic one of just bananas, water and spinach works well, but for those who are a bit more adventurous, try this one on for size. It's got a triple green whammy of baby spinach, green powder and sea superfood spirulina. Kiwi (another fun green, of course), strawberries and a banana keep this smoothie just sweet enough to avoid a "grassy" flavor.

Super Spring Greens Smoothie

1 banana, chopped1 kiwi, peeled and chopped1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen), chopped2 handfuls baby spinach leaves1 scoop vanilla brown rice protein powder (optional)1 teaspoon greens powder like Vitamineral Green1 teaspoon spirulina1 splash vanilla1 to 1.5 cups water

Throw all in a blender and blend until creamy. Serves 1 to 2.

Or one that is a little sweeter
Refresh and Revitalize with a Sour Apple-Grape Green Smoothie

smoothie%20use%20jpg.jpg?h=550&w=479&la=en

Ingredients
• 1 cup purified water
• 2 cups baby spinach, packed
• 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into small chunks
• 2 cups green grapes, with or without seeds
• 1 tbsp flaxseed oil, unfiltered preferred
• Pinch of sea salt

Directions

1. Put the water, spinach, apples, grapes, flaxseed oil, and salt in a blender and blend on high until the fruits and spinach are pureed and smooth, but still a hint on the fibrous side, about 30 seconds. Expect tiny specks of green apple skins in the finished drink.

2. Serve immediately and feel incredibly energized. This blend has a moderate amount of sugar, but a lot of fiber, so sip slowly — no gulping. Please “chew” each sip, mixing well with your saliva so that it digests with ease.

A good source of: blood-building iron and chlorophyll, potent antioxidants, vitamins B, C, E, and K, boron, silicon, other trace minerals, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, natural sugars, and fiber.

Or for health reasons we might use it to
Feel-Good Friday: More Herbal Cures in Your Cupboard

or
Kombucha Cleanser

A gentle, effective, deep cleanser for all skin types that helps remove environmental pollutants, excess oil and make-up without drying the skin.  The main ingredient is Kombucha, with grape stem cells, algae extract, glycerin, brightening complex with xylose and galactose from palmaria palmata, spirulina, green tea, white tea, aloe vera, maritime pine bark extract.

Spirulina Toner

A gentle toner for all skin types to refresh, nourish and re-balance the skin.  It tones, removes dead skin cells and prepares the skin for better product absorption.  The main ingredient is Spirulina, a blue-green algae found in fresh water that’s packed with amino acids, minerals, rhamnose, trace elements, and enzymes.  Other ingredients are Kombucha, grape stem cells, glycerin, green tea, white tea, aloe vera, maritime pine bark extract, horsetail, red algae.

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#4 2015-12-30 22:19:11

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Spirulina

I have had previous interest in Spirulina.  I could be wrong but I believe that it is not restricted to alkaline conditions, but that here on Earth you want to grow it that way to prohibit the growth of poisonous algae.  I will try to confirm that.  On Mars if you were starving and thought things were hygienic enough you might dispense with the alkaline need if necessary.

My understanding is that it is tolerant of reasonably lower temperatures, but much prefers to be warm and intensely illuminated.  This is why I see it as being a crop to grow with the use of Heliostats.

As your article says it is highly storable, if in it's powdered form and kept away from light and moisture.  7 Years and the Protein is still good?

So, I do think it merits interest.

I have already given two examples of growing it with the use of Heliostats in a previous post, and was unable to provide a method to make it of use immediately after the first settlers/explorers thump/touch down.  I will try to approach a solution for that.

Here is a greenhouse notion with association with NASA apparently:
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/scient … e-for-mars
1444668450379556.jpg

If I am to interpret this, the "Spoke" greenhouses deploy in an accordion like fashion.
I am unable to find out what the shelf life of these greenhouses will be.  3 Months?  6 Months? a Year or more?

As for Spirulina, I suggest a water bag and necessary Spirulina life support devices.  Perhaps by doing that you can reduce the size of these accordion greenhouses and do their mass.

I am just trying to find a trick for you, but it is not that easy.  I think these people have done well with their accordion greenhouses, at least for the start of habitation.

OK, I am about to get Nutty SpaceNut.  How about using a Spirulina greenhouse as it's own airbag landing system?

So, a spacecraft gets it to Mars.  Perhaps it uses the slow new method which is not Hohmann transfer.  The one that lets the item do a ballistic topping motion just at the leading edge of the Mars gravity well, and lets Mars suck it in.  It takes a few more months but it saves fuel.  For a unpersoned spacecraft it might be OK.

Now if somehow the greenhouse could inflate and then be it's own heat shield that would be fantastic.  Could we hope that it's bottom could put up with the heat?  Well, I am guessing that that's not workable, but I am not too proud to take a dive for a possible option so I put it out there.  I will for the rest of the conversation presume that it is not possible.  You have to have a container which will be the heat protection for this greenhouse while it does it's entry to the atmosphere.

So, you had to pay the penalty and the heat shield and aero shell are ejected and wasted.  Now the greenhouse is in freefall.  Perhaps it has a aerodynamic shape though.  For the Earth, it might be shaped like the space shuttle or an Apollo capsule.  For Mars?  A flying saucer?

Anyway it has limited aerodynamic navigation powers, can navigate a bit.

And so there is another problem.  If you don't get it into the proximity of your settlers, you have wasted a whole lot of effort.  However that is a problem that has to be solved anyway, for the delivery of materials, so I won't dwell on it.  It is either solvable, or you have to send everything in one package, which from what I understand is very hard to do, to land something with that much mass.

So you have this big greenhouse bubble falling out of the sky, at a rather high speed.  If it hits at that speed, it will likely pop and perhaps also bounce in an undesired fashion.  So retro rockets needed most likely.

But when it hits it will be an airbag without a payload.  So, maybe it can make it.  Being an airbag, perhaps it can be moved a bit after landing.  For instance maybe a hover craft method could allow it to flow across the ground.  Temporary levitation from CO2 (Compressed from the atmosphere), giving temporary levitation.

Anyway a very weird idea.  A very tenuous maybe.

But if you landed it, and had a source of water, say from brine flows, then you could fill it with water, and hope to grow spirulina as a crop in it.  When it had deteriorated from U.V. and other conditions, you would shred it and reuse the plastics in 3D printers to make something useful (We hope).

I should be able to attract a lot of sadism from my fellow travelers at this site with this one, but nothing ventured nothing gained.  Stick your neck out, and see what happens smile

Last edited by Void (2015-12-30 22:53:06)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#5 2018-12-22 22:21:24

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,390

Re: Spirulina

Posting about the topic as I just happened on an article.

Spirulina Farming on Mars - an Alternative Food Source for Mars Colonies?

crop-water-use.png

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#6 2018-12-23 08:07:09

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,163
Website

Re: Spirulina

I don't think we have to worry much about losing water to evaporation and drainage on Mars, though.


"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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#7 2018-12-23 11:53:50

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Spirulina

Very nice!

Yes Terraformer, I think maybe Louis recently mentioned that the entire surface of Mars is open to wheeled travel, unlike Earth.  The Oceans of Earth are a wonder, but for Mars, as it is now, you have to potential to harvest all of the photons that impinge upon it's surface.  If Mars proportional to Earth only has 1/10th the water, even so, it is a vast resource.  We only have to join photons to the water where we wish to, by productive methods.  Easy to say. smile


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#8 2018-12-24 05:33:44

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,862
Website

Re: Spirulina

Void wrote:

I will need RobertDyck's help as well, because I really don't know what is practical for windows on Mars.  I have strong reservations on this now, and think I should default to his thinking in the matter.

Not sure what you want. I could repeat things I posted many times before.

Because Mars does not have a breathable atmosphere, multiple backups for life support will be necessary. I have argued to use the same system as ISS, based on water electrolysis. Augment that with direct CO2 electrolysis to improve life support efficiency. Design it to allow mix-and-match to configure new systems. For example, if water electrolysis fails, use direct CO2 electrolysis to produce all O2. It would consume 3 times as much electricity, but you could still breathe while repairing the primary system. Water electrolysis could be operated open-cycle using water produced from Mars ice. CO2 electrolysis could be used open-cycle with CO2 from Mars atmosphere. There would be air storage, and O2 storage. Oxygen "candles" as short-term backup. And spacesuits. But all storage systems are short-term only. All other systems have a single point of failure: power. They all require power. All but one: greenhouse. To ensure a greenhouse can provide O2 to breathe during complete power failure, it must use sunlight. Yes, during a dust storm a greenhouse will require artificial light. Just ensure power failure does not occur during a dust storm. And during a dust storm, all industrial activity can be suspended, focusing power on the greenhouse.

I have said for an exploration mission, an inflatable greenhouse would work. Use polymer film of PCTFE, sold by Honeywell under the name Clarus, or the Japanese firm Daikin under the name Neoflon PCTFE. This would require a spectrally selective coating to block UV, and control IR. NASA already uses such a coating for space station windows. It's highly resistant to UV because it's transparent to UV. And it retains its strength to 100°C colder than the Mars south pole in winter. And it's highly impermeable to O2 and water. However, that's a sophisticated polymer requiring fluorine, quite difficult to make on Mars.

The easiest material to make on Mars is glass. Just normal glass. Technically called soda-lime glass, it's mostly white sand. Spirit discovered white sand with opal molecular structure. Curiosity also found opaline sand. You can make that into glass by simply melting and letting it cool, but that glass is fragile. Glass is made stronger by adding soda (sodium oxide) and lime (calcium oxide). Soda is added when making glass on Earth by adding sodium carbonate (eg washing soda). When it melts the sodium carbonate will break down, releasing CO2.

Another feature to worry about is durability to a dust storm. PCTFE or any polymer will scratch, leaving the polymer film crazed. That means tiny scratches making the window look clouded. Normal glass is harder so resistant to scratching, but can still get scratched and craze. Tempered glass is harder than minerals of Mars surface, so will not scratch or craze in a dust storm. Tempered glass is just normal glass that has been given a heat treatment. Heat glass well above its transition temperature of 564°C (1,047°F) to around 620°C (1,148°F), then rapidly cool with forced air. Tempered glass must be cut to size or pressed to shape before tempering, and cannot be re-worked once tempered. Polishing the edges or drilling holes in the glass is carried out before the tempering process starts.

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#9 2019-11-28 20:07:33

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,390

Re: Spirulina

High School Student Research Touts Benefits of
Spirulina Farming on Mars - an Alternative Food Source for Mars Colonies?

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