Author Topic: Martian forest  (Read 13263 times)

Offline colbourne

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Martian forest
« on: 01/27/2017 05:21 AM »
As the cost of bringing materials from Earth is so high are we going to see large parts of the habitats filled with bamboo and trees.

Bamboo is very fast growing and the shoots can be used for food. It is a very useful building material and to make it , you need little more than CO2 ,water and sunlight. Most of the other nutrients can come from the waste reprocessing plant.
Other trees although slower growing will have their uses providing wood as well as food.

I always see pictures of habitats as barren places full of computers and little else, but I would expect nearly every spare inch to be covered with some kind of useful plant life.
If we do find large lava tubes, it would be a useful first use for them to fill with plants that can look after themselves once light and water has been provided.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #1 on: 01/27/2017 05:49 AM »
Bamboo is arguably one of the world's most useful plants.  It's amazing stuff. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo
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Offline JAFO

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #2 on: 01/27/2017 06:03 AM »
Lots of issues trying to grow it. Bamboo can grow incredibly rapidly, but it needs a lot of water and nitrogen. (It's basically an overgrown grass.) Even the clumping bamboo we planted at our place a few years ago filled in pretty quickly once I put a drip system on it and fed it a high nitrogen fertilizer a few times in the spring and early summer.

We got a lot of good information from this place http://bamboogarden.com/care.htm   
« Last Edit: 01/27/2017 08:30 AM by JAFO »
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Online high road

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/2017 06:38 AM »
Nitrogen is available on Mars, and can be turned into ammonia for fertilisation relatively easily. Select/splice species of bamboo that grow in arid regions to optimize water consumption/growth rate.

How does bamboo do in regards to making biofuel, bioplastics etc? Including how much of its biomass can be turned into a useful product on Mars. The more versatile the crop, the better.

Online guckyfan

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #4 on: 01/27/2017 09:27 AM »
How does bamboo do in regards to making biofuel, bioplastics etc? Including how much of its biomass can be turned into a useful product on Mars. The more versatile the crop, the better.

For biomass algae will beat bamboo IMO. It will provide raw materials for the chemical industry.

Bamboo is good for cellulose. For paper, diapers, cloth for clothing. You can already buy socks from bamboo. But it can be used for chemical raw material too.

Offline Hotblack Desiato

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #5 on: 01/27/2017 10:53 PM »
I once had another idea, that fits very well into that thread.

Imagine living in a martian station, your appartments walls are made of metal (probably coated), the ceiling and the floor are made of metal, etc... everywhere metal and plastic.

Wood will be soon a very valuable good, especially since it provides a nice and smooth surface, totally different to metal and plasic. Bamboo could be used to a certain extent, since it is fast growing, but it has a totally different shape. There'll be wood-imitations made of plastic, but that's not a lot of fun.

My guess is, that many martian citizen will have some sort of small tree in their appartment. Mostly citrus-trees (lemons, oranges) as they can be really small (half a meter) and yet they can produce fruits (which will be a nice extra).

Well, and every branch of a tree, as long as it is more than 3 years old, will ihave its value.

I guess, for annual rings, the cabin containing the tree needs to chance the temperature. Not helpful for citrus fruit production, but still.. not too bad.

Offline Aussie_Space_Nut

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #6 on: 01/28/2017 12:07 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #7 on: 01/28/2017 01:19 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.
Not sure that applies to bamboo which usually grows in very thick stands without much wind force.
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Offline TripD

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #8 on: 01/28/2017 01:48 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.

You could stimulate the bending action with a horizontal lath work moving side to side.
« Last Edit: 01/28/2017 01:49 AM by TripD »

Offline meekGee

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #9 on: 01/28/2017 04:17 AM »
When thinking about underground habitats, I always imagined that they would be slightly sloped, so each cavern could have a stream running through it.

With Bamboo, it will look even cooler.
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Online RonM

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #10 on: 01/28/2017 05:14 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.

You could stimulate the bending action with a horizontal lath work moving side to side.

It might be nice once in awhile to rev up fans and create a wind to remind people what it was like back on old Earth.

Offline MickQ

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #11 on: 01/28/2017 07:07 AM »
When thinking about underground habitats, I always imagined that they would be slightly sloped, so each cavern could have a stream running through it.

With Bamboo, it will look even cooler.

With at least one waterfall feeding a swimming hole.

Offline Semmel

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #12 on: 01/28/2017 08:39 AM »
What about fire hazard due to wood? I don't think all material in the colony will be fire proof but I guess that it will be very restricted. Fire is one of the events that can destroy large parts of the colony. Even if fire is not a showstopper for wooden products, there might be strong restrictions on its presence.

Online guckyfan

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #13 on: 01/28/2017 10:37 AM »
Don't let dead wood linger. Which you would not do in a habitat anyway.  Fresh green wood is hard to ignite. Bark may be a problem, but not with bamboo.

Bamboo can be glued into panels of any size. I have nice chopping boards made from bamboo. It is  massive and smooth, not easily ignited. But once ignited it may burn well.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #14 on: 01/28/2017 11:46 AM »
In case of a fire, an immediate pressure drop could slow it significantly without suffocating people. Then, backfilling the pressure with buffer gas to further reduce the fire risk.
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Online Phil Stooke

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #15 on: 01/28/2017 01:44 PM »
"What about fire hazard due to wood?"

True, but plastics are also potential fire hazards, with more toxic combustion products.   Fire protection will be important whatever materials are in use. 

Offline Rei

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #16 on: 01/29/2017 10:30 AM »
Quote
I always see pictures of habitats as barren places full of computers and little else, but I would expect nearly every spare inch to be covered with some kind of useful plant life.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but you mean, inside living quarters?  Houseplants, sure you could, but do you have any sense of how much light it takes to grow something actually useful?  And also how fast humidity (aka transpiration) accumulates when you pack a sealed living space full of plants, and what it does to all of those aforementioned computers?

(I grow crop plants indoors under artificial light.  If I fully seal the growth tent and shut off all ventilation, it literally rains in there)
« Last Edit: 01/29/2017 10:31 AM by Rei »

Online DigitalMan

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #17 on: 01/29/2017 02:00 PM »
Quote
I always see pictures of habitats as barren places full of computers and little else, but I would expect nearly every spare inch to be covered with some kind of useful plant life.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but you mean, inside living quarters?  Houseplants, sure you could, but do you have any sense of how much light it takes to grow something actually useful?  And also how fast humidity (aka transpiration) accumulates when you pack a sealed living space full of plants, and what it does to all of those aforementioned computers?

(I grow crop plants indoors under artificial light.  If I fully seal the growth tent and shut off all ventilation, it literally rains in there)

I have indoor hydro also for several years.  Living in Florida we have high humidity outside but have indoor humidity set to 40%.  We can't adjust to 0% very easily, dry skin is uncomfortable.  I had to build a water replenishment mechanism, it goes through about 10 gallons a week after taking various steps to mitigate loss.

Edit: I would estimate plants are consuming 80% of that because loss is only 1 or 2 gallons a week when plants are small.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2017 02:02 PM by DigitalMan »

Offline Dao Angkan

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #18 on: 01/29/2017 11:32 PM »
You can treat it with fire-retardant. It might be pleasant to live amongst the bamboo farm.

Here's a design for a bamboo city.

« Last Edit: 01/29/2017 11:33 PM by Dao Angkan »

Offline philw1776

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Re: Martian forest
« Reply #19 on: 01/30/2017 06:40 PM »
One escaped panda goin' rogue could destroy the colony!
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