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#51 2021-04-22 10:26:27

From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: Greenhouse Architecture

An interesting study from August 2020 on the potential future cost effectiveness of indoor wheat farming, with LED lighting for indoor production of wheat grown in stacked trays.

On Earth, wheat prices would need to exceed $800/tonne and electricity prices would need to be $0.02/kWh, for vertical farming of wheat to be economically attractive.

On Mars, where the alternative is growing wheat in a heated greenhouse, vertical farming of wheat will be far more attractive, in a compact underground facility.  The key takeaway however, is that succesful vertical farming of anything depends on cheap energy.  Assuming it is forthcoming, then food production can largely be carried out underground, along with other aspects of Martian existence.

Another part of the solution, not explored in this study, is to bring into the human diet vegetable resources that can be grown with much greater conversion efficiency of absorbed light energy into useful calories.  I am thinking of microalgae, macroalgae, hydrilla and lemnoideae.

Successful accomplishment of the transition to underground farming, coupled with low-cost nuclear and Thermonuclear energy sources, would allow Martian society to grow as an almost entirely subsurface entity.  The achievement of controlled fusion would remove all practical limits on planetary carrying capacity, as humanity would no longer depend on the sun for production of food.  This would presumably allow human beings to colonise almost any environment.  In the context of Mars, sustaining a huge human population using fusion energy, would eventually result in the generation of enough waste heat to substantially warm the planet.  We could ultimately face the scenario of terraforming occurring as a byproduct of human habitation, maybe an unwanted one, if the developing hydrosphere floods a lot of the new underground living areas.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-04-22 10:46:43)

Interested in space science, engineering and technology.


#52 2021-04-22 10:49:46

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,347

Re: Greenhouse Architecture

For Calliban re #51

Thank you for bringing this link and your observations to the forum!

Previous to your discovery, my understanding (from reading about experiments) was that wheat was/is particularly difficult to grow in artificial circumstances.

While your post appeared (as I read it) to be mostly about the potential for Mars, it seems to me eminently suitable for vast populations on Earth, where human social failings preclude effective use of land with exposure to the Sun.



#53 2021-06-11 14:42:02

Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 885

Re: Greenhouse Architecture

New Antarctic farm … degrees-f/
NC State researchers see plant experiments blast off to ISS … ff-to-iss/


#54 2021-06-11 15:58:07

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,122

Re: Greenhouse Architecture

Not a very large article but the images are of the things from several topics including verticle farming and others. We need better knowledge on the how to get to the finished unit that would be created from scratch on mars.


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