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#601 2021-02-08 14:30:35

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,617

Re: Crops

I think pressurization accidents with space suits or habitat modules and life support equipment will be a far greater risk and cause of death than background radiation levels.  If you need 40 years of exposure to cut your life expectancy by 3 years, but it takes a matter of seconds for any of those thousands of pressurization / de-pressurization events, if not performed perfectly every single time, to kill you, which cause of death seems infinitely more likely?  People who survive long enough to live to old age on Mars will die of cancer or organ failure, same as they do here on Earth.  If you will truly live to 75 vs 78, that seems like an insignificant difference in the grand scheme of things.  The reduction in the prevalence of disease, war, and poverty will offset the radiation increase, in all probability.  However, the pressurization and motor vehicle accidents are far more likely to be immediately life threatening.  You may never get shot on Mars, but it would be foolish to think you're in any more or less danger than the average person here on Earth when the totality of the circumstances are taken into consideration.  Obviously, it would be a boon to psychological health to be able to roam around outside and explore, same as kids and adults do here on Earth, so we need space suits that minimally encumber the wearer so day hikes become practical.  I liken the situation to being on Everest.  You can't live there without oxygen, but everyone with the cash and desire to explore goes there anyway, despite the yearly butcher's bill.  No amount of danger will ever stop us from exploring.

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#602 2021-02-12 14:21:27

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744
Website

Re: Crops

Carob vs cocoa for chocolate?
Wikipedia: carob

Carob is a chocolate alternative. Looks like chocolate, tastes like chocolate. But carob isn't bitter like cocoa, so doesn't require as much sugar. And has natural sweetness, so doesn't require as much sugar added. Chocolate can be made with no sugar added at all, creating lower calorie chocolate alternative. Carob has no caffeine. Chocolate made from carob typically has 1/3 calories, vitamins A and B, minerals, and no fat what-so-ever.

Cocoa trees are technically called cacao, they're an understory tree in rain forest. Cacao trees naturally grow 50 feet tall when fully mature, but commercial plantations trim them to about 25 feet for easy cultivation. (Wikipedia says 13-25 feet.) Cacao trees grown from seed produce a taproot typically 1.5 metres deep, but cacao trees grown from a cutting do not produce taproots, allowing them to be planted in relatively shallow soil. Pollinator for cacao is biting midges, similar to mosquitoes but smaller. The midges require rotting vegetation on the ground, and a variety of tropical plants. Midges fly slower than a human can walk at a fast pace. This can be used on Mars: a tunnel about 10 metres long connecting the tropical greenhouse for cacao trees could be maintained with slight negative pressure vs the atrium or outer habitat, so when a worker opens a door to enter it produces a strong breeze along the tunnel into the greenhouse. As long as the breeze is faster than a midge can fly, they won't be able to get out. But my concern is the need to grow other tropical plants to keep midges healthy.

Carob is a legume, like beans and peas. It grows a pod that looks like a bean pod. The tree also grows 50 feet tall when fully mature. Cacao requires shade, often grown with a taller shade tree grown beside. Mars surface has 56% as intense sunlight as the surface of Earth, so cacao will thrive in a Mars greenhouse with no need for shade or mirrors. Carob needs full sun, needs well drained soil, can withstand drought and alkaline soil; carob does not tolerate acid soil or overly wet conditions. Mars soil is alkaline. Because it's a legume, traditional pollinators work for carob, such as honey bees. Carob trees have male and female plants; commercial plantations graft a male branch onto female trees so they self pollinate, yet all trees produce.

Carob grown from seed begins to bear fruit after 6-7 years, and produces for 80 to 100 years. Cacao produces after 6-8 years, but some hybrids produce after just 3 years. Cacao can live to 100 years, but only produces for about half of that.

So carob or cacao?

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#603 2021-02-12 15:49:08

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,349

Re: Crops

For RobertDyck re topic and mention of midges as pollinators....

Someone in the forum recently expressed dismay at the thought of having insects imported to Mars.

I am glad to see your addition of these little critters to the mix of essential living creatures to help to maintain a healthy human population.

And thanks! for your presentation of the two alternatives for chocolate flavor!

SearchTerm:Chocolate RobertDyck Post #602 above

(th)

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#604 2021-06-19 20:53:45

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

Re: Crops

https://www.growveg.com/guides/growing- … -a-family/

Research in the 1970s by John Jeavons and the Ecology Action Organization found that 4000 square feet (about 370 square metres) of growing space was enough land to sustain one person on a vegetarian diet for a year, with about another 4000 square feet (370 square meters) for access paths and storage – so that’s a plot around 80 feet x 100 feet (24m x 30m).

How much you can grow in this space will depend on your climate, weather and soil and, crucially, how much time you have. Tending to 4000 square feet, particularly at the height of the growing season, will take many hours a week.

So approximate 400 square meters per person required...needing water, warmth and simulated sun light....

What you want to eat versus time to growth gives planting area required for each food that you would want in the menu. Of course staggered crops so that timing gets different foods for the menu.

each person at a min needs 400 m^2 of food growing area for on earth is 1kwm^2 x 400 = 400kw x 9 plus hrs a day 3,600kwhrs per crew member

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#605 2021-07-24 10:57:53

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,888

Re: Crops

I found some claims to agricultural achievements, that I think are worth a look.
Certaily if true, chances are the concerns of the future may be less about food,
and perhaps more about clean water and power.

RNA breakthrough, 50% more crops:

https://researchinnovation.uchicago.edu … University.

https://phys.org/news/2021-07-rna-break … -rice.html

Fungi for Roots of plants:  (This may help if Mars provides poor soil, I think)

https://phys.org/news/2021-07-beetroot- … iotic.html

And that is about that.  I presumed there may be somone interested in such things.

Done.


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

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#606 2021-07-24 16:55:53

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,871

Re: Crops

I think we just need to be a little careful about direct genetic engineering. Any organism is hugely complex. If it's making one change, you can bet it's making 10,000 minimum other changes because of that one change. One of those 10,000 changes might not be conducive to human health. Where is the plant getting all the extra nutrients (if it's not nutrient deficient)? - the article seems to suggest it's from additional root growth and additional photosynthesis. Plants have had billions of years to maximise photosynthesis - seems odd nature hasn't been able to achieve that.

I feel that farming on Mars will not be that difficult. We won't have pests or birds or locusts or airborne disease to contend with. In the initial phase of artificially lit indoor farming all inputs will be controlled - and yields will be correspondingly extremely high. Basically, farming on Mars can be fully organic.

We need a lot more research into Mars farming re how much we need to replicate Earth conditions as we move to natural-light/soil farming. We get told worms, microbes, fungi and so on are essential...but do we really know what's required for soil to "work" on Mars? Worms may be necessary on Earth but maybe on Mars a robotic "soil puncher" will work just as well or even better. Can robotic pollinators replace bees? I've nothing against bees but interesting bees introduces a whole other level of complexity to you farm ecosystem. My current view is it's best to try and minimise your ecosystem complexity.


Void wrote:

I found some claims to agricultural achievements, that I think are worth a look.
Certaily if true, chances are the concerns of the future may be less about food,
and perhaps more about clean water and power.

RNA breakthrough, 50% more crops:

https://researchinnovation.uchicago.edu … University.

https://phys.org/news/2021-07-rna-break … -rice.html

Fungi for Roots of plants:  (This may help if Mars provides poor soil, I think)

https://phys.org/news/2021-07-beetroot- … iotic.html

And that is about that.  I presumed there may be somone interested in such things.

Done.


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

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#607 2021-07-24 17:19:43

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744
Website

Re: Crops

Chloroplasts in plants evolved from cyanobacteria. Basically eukaryotic cells enslaved cyanobacteria. There are two large-scale parts to photosynthesis: in high school we were taught they're the light reaction, and the dark reaction. University names are photophosphorylation and the Calivin-Benson cycle. Photophosphorylation is extremely sophisticated and extremely efficient, extremely optimized. However, the Calvin-Benson cycle is tuned for an atmosphere with far more CO2 than we have today. It's actually quite inefficient in a high oxygen atmosphere. The intermediate RuBP is supposed to carboxylise, meaning it binds to a molecule of CO2. In a high O2 atmsophere, it can oxidise, meaning to bind with O2. Cyanobacteria have developed three pathways to recycle the waste that is produced by oxidation. Multicellular plants only have one of those pathways, and part of that one pathway is performed by other organelles in the cell. C4 plants deal with this by concentrating CO2 in leaf cells where photosynthesis happens. Concentrating CO2 takes energy, but in our current atmosphere recycling the waste product takes more energy.

Ps. One of the pathways that cyanobacteria use convert the waste to CO2, concentrating CO2 to reduce oxidation in the first place. Cyanobacteria use a different method than C4 plants, but the effect is the same.

If you're worried about pollinators, I have posted a list of pollinators before. We don't need robots. Many do not bite or sting. However, only honey bees produce honey. Well, Bombus polaris is a common Arctic bumblebee species, it also forms nests and produces honey. They heavily insulate their nests and use body heat to actively heat the nest to maintain +35°C. But I don't think that species is relevant for Mars.
Wikipedia: Pollinator

Mars dirt is very high in iron (hence the red colour), low in potassium, and completely lacking in nitrogen or organic matter. It has perchlorates that must be decomposed first. But we can add ammonium nitrate fertilizer, made chemically from nitrogen extracted from Mars atmosphere. And someone posted an article about research paper to decompose perchlorate in one day. Converting Mars dirt into arable soil will take some work, but it's not extreme.

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#608 2021-08-31 20:46:54

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744
Website

Re: Crops

An alternative to tissue cultured meat. Could this be easier to make? Vegan chicken nuggets. This recipe is based on "vital wheat gluten" as the main ingredient. Instead of processing that from wheat flour, could we culture (ferment) a type of yeast to produce this? I posted elsewhere the idea of a yeast to produce everything in flour other than starch, so producing starch from isolated chloroplasts and everything else from yeast, mix together to make flour. But could we make "vital wheat gluten" from the yeast directly?

Star Trek Enterprise talked about "resequenced protein". Could we make chicken nuggets, chicken salad, chicken pot pie, enchiladas, tikka masala, butter chicken, Kung Pao chicken?

Vegan “Chicken”

Vegan “Chicken” is seitan based, perfectly flavored and surprisingly easy to make. Chewy, meaty and perfect for grilling, frying or using anywhere you would chicken! Only 9 ingredients & 1 bowl.
...
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan chicken flavored broth or vegetable broth*

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Stir to combine.

  • To the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour in the broth and oil. Stir well until the mixture starts to pull away from the bowl.

  • Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and knead with your hands for just a minute until it comes together, not too much. It will still be quite messy, not a smooth dough.

  • Break into 6 pieces and press gently into circles, or "chicken" shapes. They can all be different and they don't have to be perfect, just try to make them similar sizes so they cook evenly.

  • Wrap each piece in foil. Place all 6 pieces in a steamer basket with water on the bottom and steam for 30 minutes.

  • Remove carefully from the foil. Now you can either pan fry them in a little vegan butter or oil, grill them, or slice and use anywhere you would like. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Makes about 1.5 pounds of seitan "chicken".

  • It will keep for about a week in the refrigerator, and can be frozen for longer. Simply thaw completely before using.

  • If needed, you can leave out the olive oil.

  • This "chicken" can be grilled, sautéed in a little oil or vegan butter, or sliced and used in a variety of recipes such as stir fries, soups, vegan pot pie and more!

Vital Wheat Gluten: What Is It and When Should It Be Used?

Vital wheat gluten is like a super-powered flour that is all gluten and very little starch. It’s not technically flour itself, but it’s made from wheat flour that has been hydrated to activate the gluten and then processed to remove everything but that gluten. It’s then dried and ground back into a powder.

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#609 2021-09-08 17:14:00

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

Re: Crops

Once you have the chambers size calculations then its roughing out the total energy numbers for each of the issues.
https://spicytrio.com/how-big-of-a-gree … -a-family/

we recommend between 80-100 square feet per person.

best vegetables to grow in your greenhouse to feed your family most efficiently:
    Onions,     Carrots,     Potatoes,     Cucumbers,     Garlic,     Lettuce,     Peppers
Some of the most popular vine fruits are:
    Grapes,     Watermelon,     Kiwi,     Passion fruit

https://morningchores.com/vegetable-garden-size/

The truth is, there is no single correct answer when it comes to deciding vegetable garden size. Some sources say 100 square feet per person is the magic number, but that can’t be right because every family has different needs and preferences when it comes to food. Also, plants vary in size, so it depends on what vegetables you grow.

  • How Many Vegetables to Plant?
    Enter your family size:
    Crops    Harvest Needed (lbs)    Row Length (ft)    Plants Needed
    Artichoke                  12    24    6
    Asparagus                   8    27    18
    Basil                      2    5    5
    Lima Beans (bush)    12    48    144
    Lima Beans (pole)    12    24    18
    Snap Beans (bush)    60    50    150
    Snap Beans (pole)    60    40    80
    Soy Beans     60    120    144
    Beets      14    10    60
    Bok Choy    12    10    15
    Broccoli    32    32    22
    Brussel Sprouts    24    32    22
    Cabbage    60    40    27
    Carrots    40    40    48
    Cauliflower     36    36    24
    Celery    16    27    41
    Cilantro    1    2    3
    Collards    8    8    8
    Corn          100    125    94
    Cucumbers         32    27    14
    Dill           1    2    2
    Eggplant    16    16    10
    Fennel    4    5    5
    Garlic    4    16    32
    Jerusalem Artichoke    6    4    3
    Kale      4    4    4
    Kohlrabi    6    8    16
    Leek           4    9    27
    Lettuce    24    48    42
    Melons    24    22    7
    Mustard    4    8    16
    Okra              4    4    3
    Onions    32    32    96
    Parsley           1    4    6
    Parsnip         12    12    36
    Peas                  12    30    90
    Peppers           12    20    15
    Potatoes         100    100    100
    Pumpkins           40    40    12
    Radish             8    20    60
    Rhubarb           16    16    48
    Rutabaga             6    5    10
    Spinach            12    30    30
    Summer Squash    40    27    14
    Winter Squash    24    24    9
    Strawberry            52    38    23
    Sweet Potatoes    12    12    11
    Swiss Chard    12    15    18
    Tomatoes            96    96    39
    Cherry Tomatoes    68    46    35
    Turnips            20    27    54
    Watermelons    48    24    5

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#610 2021-09-15 00:56:19

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744
Website

Re: Crops

My last post was a recipe for a vegan substitute for chicken. As I post this it's 1:49am, so technically I cooked it yesterday. Instead of steaming, I used a microwave oven. It tastes pretty good. I'm surprised. It's that easy to make chicken nuggets? It's not real chicken, and it's not breaded, but tastes good. It formed a dough, wetter than bread dough, but still a dough. I drew it out and folded several times to give it texture. That worked, has texture. Not as pronounced as real chicken white meat, but still pretty good. This demonstrates it's fairly easy, and we don't need to culture chicken meat. Primary ingredient is wheat gluten, which is isolated from wheat flour. I used onion salt and garlic salt rather than onion powder and garlic powder; in places it's too salty, so powder would be better. But most is not too salty, it's actually quite good.

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#611 2021-09-15 17:04:14

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

Re: Crops

I actually have a canned cooked chicken meat in a can that has an expiration of 2025. I know that I got it last year. It would be good to add such products to the out going mission for sure. Its good for a chicken salad sandwich and many other things. Not to mention it would go good with dumplings. You sure have come up with a good substitute it seems. Add vegies and you have a pot pie if you bake it ect...

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#612 2021-09-15 22:47:04

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744
Website

Re: Crops

You can always bring preserved food for a science mission: canned, dehydrated, dry, etc. That's easy. But what do you do for a permanent settlement? You can't ship food from Earth, that's too expensive. For permanent settlement, you have to produce food locally. That's what this topic is about. Livestock are difficult to transport to Mars, and difficult to maintain. You need a hard wall containment of some sort, basically a pressurized barn, that livestock cannot bite/claw/kick/dig or otherwise puncture the pressure vessel. Livestock will consume oxygen and exhale CO2, requiring more oxygen recycling. Lifestock will produce manure and urine, which have to be dealt with. And livestock consume several units mass of fodder (feed) for each unit mass of meat. On a planet without a breathable atmosphere, greenhouse area per person is a concern.

Then there's the question of how you get livestock to the Red Planet. As I've posted before, imagine a cow on a spacecraft with astronauts, going through high acceleration during launch from Earth, then zero-G in Earth orbit, then moderate acceleration during TMI, then zero-G for months in transit, then high-G during Mars atmospheric entry, then a jerk as the parachute opens, and all the manoeuvres during landing. If the spacecraft uses rotation for artificial gravity like Mars Direct, then there will be a period of zero-G after TMI before the craft spins-up for artificial gravity. As it spins, the livestock will get dizzy. They'll get used to it, but it'll take a while. Upon approach to Mars, a Mars Direct style craft will cut loose the counter-weight, which will initially result in faster spin with much shorter radius. Then quickly de-spin. Then zero-G before atmospheric entry. All this will leave a cow freaking out. You would want to transport calves, as young as possible to minimize mass, but weaned from milk because Mars will not have any milk. At least not until the cows mature.

If you transport chickens, you have all the same problems, but with a smaller animal that can fly. Birds do not produce urine, their waste is mixed with their feces. I had considered transporting fertilized chicken eggs, put them in an incubator upon arrive on Mars. You can refrigerate live fertilized chicken eggs, just not as cold as a kitchen refrigerator, and no longer than 6 weeks. That isn't long enough to reach Mars. So how? Cryogenically freeze chicken embryos? That'll take serious research. Then how? A dedicated large scale livestock transport could do it, but that's seriously expensive.

That's why I've looked at vegan diet. Yes, it looks like we could transport fish, so aquaponics is possible. But elsewhere I posted the idea of mixing starch with gluten from a genetically modified yeast to produce flour. So we could produce flour without wheat. On the surface of Mars it would probably be most convenient to just grow wheat in a greenhouse. But on a large scale passenger ship, starch from chloroplast oxygen generators, and gluten from yeast grown in a vat. So this recipe for "vegan chicken" made from wheat gluten made me think. Instead of isolating "vital wheat gluten" from wheat flour, instead use the gluten produced by yeast. So the same gluten that can me mixed with starch for flour can be used on its own for "vegan chicken".

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#613 2021-09-22 18:34:19

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

Re: Crops

tahanson43206 wrote:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/wake-smell-c … 18983.html

Marcelo Teixeira
Wed, September 22, 2021 1:07 AM
By Marcelo Teixeira

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Farmer David Armstrong recently finished planting what is likely the most challenging crop his family has ever cultivated since his ancestors started farming in 1865 - 20,000 coffee trees.

Except Armstrong is not in the tropics of Central America - he is in Ventura, California, just 60 miles (97 km) away from downtown Los Angeles.

"I guess now I can say I am a coffee farmer!" he said, after planting the last seedlings of high-quality varieties of arabica coffee long cultivated in sweltering equatorial climates.

My Hacienda does not currently have coffee included in the crops to be planted on Mars.

(th)


I think Tea's were spoken of but a bit of coffee would not hurt...

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#614 2021-09-22 18:56:53

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,871

Re: Crops

I'm definitely not a fan of early livestock farming and I am coming to the view it may never be required on Mars.

Stem cell meat is certainly a reality already now, and I am sure that technology will be honed and improved over the next, say, 50 years.
I think it would make a lot more sense for the Mars colony to put its energies into developing that food technology. The point of being on Mars is to do things differently. Stem cell meat addresses our evolved food requirements while also avoiding animal cruelty and all the other attendant nuisances of raising livestock in an enclosed  pressurised environment. 

In the meantime the "Impossible Burger" approach can be used to grow pretty good meat substitutes on Mars for things like burgers and "meat as a treat" can be imported from Earth as frozen, tinned etc.

If we really want to raise livestock on Mars I would say, "think small". Guinea pigs are widely eaten in South America and a far more manageable than chickens.

Fish farming is way more difficult than people realise. You need copious amounts of water and disease can spread among farmed fish very easily. In fact you have to dose them up with antibiotics and other medicines.

RobertDyck wrote:

You can always bring preserved food for a science mission: canned, dehydrated, dry, etc. That's easy. But what do you do for a permanent settlement? You can't ship food from Earth, that's too expensive. For permanent settlement, you have to produce food locally. That's what this topic is about. Livestock are difficult to transport to Mars, and difficult to maintain. You need a hard wall containment of some sort, basically a pressurized barn, that livestock cannot bite/claw/kick/dig or otherwise puncture the pressure vessel. Livestock will consume oxygen and exhale CO2, requiring more oxygen recycling. Lifestock will produce manure and urine, which have to be dealt with. And livestock consume several units mass of fodder (feed) for each unit mass of meat. On a planet without a breathable atmosphere, greenhouse area per person is a concern.

Then there's the question of how you get livestock to the Red Planet. As I've posted before, imagine a cow on a spacecraft with astronauts, going through high acceleration during launch from Earth, then zero-G in Earth orbit, then moderate acceleration during TMI, then zero-G for months in transit, then high-G during Mars atmospheric entry, then a jerk as the parachute opens, and all the manoeuvres during landing. If the spacecraft uses rotation for artificial gravity like Mars Direct, then there will be a period of zero-G after TMI before the craft spins-up for artificial gravity. As it spins, the livestock will get dizzy. They'll get used to it, but it'll take a while. Upon approach to Mars, a Mars Direct style craft will cut loose the counter-weight, which will initially result in faster spin with much shorter radius. Then quickly de-spin. Then zero-G before atmospheric entry. All this will leave a cow freaking out. You would want to transport calves, as young as possible to minimize mass, but weaned from milk because Mars will not have any milk. At least not until the cows mature.

If you transport chickens, you have all the same problems, but with a smaller animal that can fly. Birds do not produce urine, their waste is mixed with their feces. I had considered transporting fertilized chicken eggs, put them in an incubator upon arrive on Mars. You can refrigerate live fertilized chicken eggs, just not as cold as a kitchen refrigerator, and no longer than 6 weeks. That isn't long enough to reach Mars. So how? Cryogenically freeze chicken embryos? That'll take serious research. Then how? A dedicated large scale livestock transport could do it, but that's seriously expensive.

That's why I've looked at vegan diet. Yes, it looks like we could transport fish, so aquaponics is possible. But elsewhere I posted the idea of mixing starch with gluten from a genetically modified yeast to produce flour. So we could produce flour without wheat. On the surface of Mars it would probably be most convenient to just grow wheat in a greenhouse. But on a large scale passenger ship, starch from chloroplast oxygen generators, and gluten from yeast grown in a vat. So this recipe for "vegan chicken" made from wheat gluten made me think. Instead of isolating "vital wheat gluten" from wheat flour, instead use the gluten produced by yeast. So the same gluten that can me mixed with starch for flour can be used on its own for "vegan chicken".


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

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#615 2021-09-22 19:05:31

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,744
Website

Re: Crops

SpaceNut wrote:

I think Tea's were spoken of but a bit of coffee would not hurt...

Post from me in this topic:

#237

Menu items
Here is a proposed list of menu items. This is by no means final.

Breakfast
...
coffee
...

#72

Summary, for 12 people: (my work, greenhouse area)

Coffee 298 m^2
...

#7

Coffee

People require coffee. English have grown accustomed to tea, but North Americans drink coffee. Engineers and scientists need their caffeine fix.

Coffee growing conditions
                        Arabica    Robusta
Altitude               600-2200m    0-800m
Rainfall              1200-2200mm 2200-3000mm
Temperature             15-24°C    18-36°C
Caffeine                 1.2%       2.2%
Chlorogenic acid (CGA) 5.5-8.0%   7.0-10.0%
Sugar (sucrose)          6-9%       3-7%
Lipids                  15-17%     10-11.5%

Arabica is self-pollinating plant, meaning the plant will have fewer mutations and fewer variations throughout its life cycle as compared to Robusta.
Arabica has double the number of chromosomes at 44 than Robusta at 22.

For Arabica, its altitude equates to pressure 13.7 psi (94.2 kPa) to 11.3 psi (78.2 kPa). Earth's atmosphere has 20.9% O2, so partial pressure works out to 2.3617 psi (16.34 kPa). This is well within the recommended atmosphere for a Mars habitat.

Coffee is a bush, growing 3-3.5m tall (10-12 feet).

My conclusion is we can grow pure Arabica coffee in a greenhouse.

Size for a 12 person initial settlement. Statistics for Canada, each person consumed 6.5 kg of coffee per year. Each tree produces 3 pounds of ground coffee per year. So that requires 4.7766833 coffee trees per person. That's 57.25 coffee trees. One plantation reports 14,000 coffee trees in 18 acres. For 12 people that works out to 298 square metres. That's just for trees, not including any processing or storage. Good yield requires drip irrigation, and symmetrical tree planting. This is also for direct sun, not intercropping with nitrogen fixing trees. For Mars, we would probably require long narrow greenhouses, oriented long in the east-west direction, and mirrors outside the greenhouse along the long sides to double "insolation", meaning sunlight. Remember Mars gets 43% as much sunlight as Earth, clouds are extremely rare, but the glass has to be coated with the same spectrally selective coating as NASA spacecraft and space station windows. This blocks UV, but reduces visible light to 80%-85% depending on colour (frequency). So 85% of 43% really reduces light. Adding mirrors will double light we have to start with.

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