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#1 2022-04-11 09:10:16

From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,573

Earth / Mars Orbiting greenhouses for ship supply

This is a spin off from the large ship discussion and prompted by the difficulties that led Robert to consider using bags of separated chloroplasts for CO2 recycling.  These appear to be insufficiently resilient to meet the need that he had in mind for them.

One of the problems with maintaining closed life support on a large ship is food production.  It takes a long time to decompose excrement, convert it into soil and CO2 and grow fresh food.  Likewise, carbon dioxide scrubbed from the atmosphere would be converted back into food in a truly closed system.  But these functions demand a lot of space and energy on the spacecraft and impose a substantial mass burden.

One alternative would be to collect these wastes on board and have dedicated receiving facilities for wastes in Earth and Mars orbit.  These would take on board effluents and convert them back into food, oxygen and clean water in slow time, delivering batches of victuals that align with launch windows.  This reduces the mass burden of having to lift fresh food, oxygen and water from Earth or Mars once regular transit is established.  The downside is that such facilities have mass and labour burdens of their own.  They will need to be lifted into orbit.

Last edited by Calliban (2022-04-11 09:12:36)

"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."


#2 2022-04-11 09:35:00

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,143

Re: Earth / Mars Orbiting greenhouses for ship supply

For Calliban re new topic: Best wishes for success with this topic!  It opens an entire line of business for young people alive today on Earth

The opening versions of this concept can spring (as you pointed out) directly from work done by RobertDyck (and others).


SearchTerm:Greenhouse in orbit



#3 2022-04-11 19:18:08

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,310

Re: Earth / Mars Orbiting greenhouses for ship supply

Much like all things large ship its about the engineering that will prove how to win.
The ring so far will only suffice for 360 crew to obtain a 100 % life support and air re-circulation but its got to have a running start plus we need to know what crops need to be grown.
That said we do have all the numbers for volume and power as well as for what it can support.


#4 2022-04-12 21:17:26

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,310

Re: Earth / Mars Orbiting greenhouses for ship supply

Echoes from the Mars Society Green CELSS Task FORCE

we do have several topics on how to decompose the waste stream that man would create and its going to start with a collection volume and separation process to retain as much water as possible as to the initial steps we would use to process it.

We do have algae topics that can make use of it as food but we seem to be in need of something that is faster...

Sewage treatment

Wastewater Treatment

we are also making use of it in Mars Soil Factory

Flash Pyrolysis


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