Author Topic: Scaling Agriculture on Mars  (Read 142941 times)

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1120 on: 03/30/2017 06:01 PM »
A very similar article from Associated Press

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/lab-simulating-harsh-mars-climate-nascent-potato-grows-46457367

So, it is not Mars conditions, just high altitude earth conditions (6,000 m) with high carbon monoxide lethal to animals and low temperatures. Even that environment will require serious effort to produce on Mars, it is not its natural environment

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1121 on: 03/31/2017 05:25 AM »
This is 10 times better, an entire issue dedicated to agriculture in space. I have to read this...

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/dgo-nap033017.php

Offline Paul451

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1273
  • Australia
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 530
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1122 on: 03/31/2017 09:44 AM »
Notice the liquid water condensed on the sides.  Water cannot exist in a liquid state in Mars conditions.
it is not Mars conditions [...] it is not its natural environment

I think people are being overly pedantic about the "under Mars conditions" line.

AFAICT, no-one has claimed that they are testing plants in simulated bare-ground, open-atmosphere conditions of Mars. They always mean growing crops in some kind of greenhouse on Mars.

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1123 on: 04/20/2017 04:22 AM »
Two interesting ISS experiment writeups.

First of all more details on the Advanced Plant Habitat:
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2017/0419/Why-NASA-is-expanding-its-Veggie-space-program

Interestingly, they talk about having more control of the environment than VEGGIE, which does not mean though gas composition control, they will be using ISS atmosphere composition, though not humidity. Also a Russian experiment to ferment milk for kefir on the ISS:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201704191052781205-russia-iss-cosmonauts-fermenting-milk/

I don't see Mars colonists receiving mass quantities of milk powder for fermentation, but as an activity during the trip, when powder milk gets stale, this is interesting

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3830
  • Liked: 481
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1124 on: 04/25/2017 07:58 PM »
Some people here have said that hydroponics is the more economical way to grow plants on Mars - can something similar be used if agriculture extends to livestock cultivation?

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604261/animals-set-survival-record-inside-artificial-womb/




Wow, that was unsettling - visions of Alduous Huxley - the Spaarti cylinders come later.  :o

But the idea of decoupling reproduction/gestation from the rest of an organism's life cycle might allow greater efficiencies in livestock breeding. It also might allow fetuses to be carried to longer terms for higher birth-weights, which are correlated to better survival rates beyond the womb.

Also, if Mars is to serve as a "backup for Earth", then could it mean even supporting a backup ecosystem, including animals? (a la Noah's Ark)
It's one thing to hatch insects from frozen eggs, but to revive animal species from scratch, an artificial womb might be useful.



Furthermore, while your mature livestock were busy grazing inside the greenhouse domes on the surface, the livestock fetuses could be gestating inside the biobag wombs in a safer environment underground.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2017 08:05 PM by sanman »

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1125 on: 04/25/2017 08:30 PM »
It is one thing to create an artificial womb for a prematurely born animal and another to do a full term pregnancy by artificial means. I do see animals coming to Mars, in spinning gravity ships at worse. I will take a long time but it will happen.

There was an article today on University of Arizona's inflatable lunar greenhouse for Mars applications:

http://nypost.com/2017/04/25/this-inflatable-greenhouse-could-feed-astronauts-on-mars/

Offline sghill

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1306
  • United States
  • Liked: 1438
  • Likes Given: 1992
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1126 on: 04/27/2017 12:16 PM »
Some people here have said that hydroponics is the more economical way to grow plants on Mars - can something similar be used if agriculture extends to livestock cultivation?

Well sure, but why even bring the whole animal?  There are lots of downsides to it.  Just grow the meat up there and leave the animal out of the equation.

https://medium.com/food-is-the-new-internet/get-ready-for-a-meat-revolution-df21cd27c7fc
and
http://theconversation.com/no-animal-required-but-would-people-eat-artificial-meat-72372

IMHO, the adoption of cultured meat is on the critical path to sustainability on this planet let alone Mars.

Cattle ranching will one day be more similar to growing algae in bags than cowboys on the open trail.
« Last Edit: 04/27/2017 12:20 PM by sghill »
Bring the thunder Elon!

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1127 on: 04/27/2017 09:19 PM »
What is the composition of the broth required to nourish the tissue culture for the artificial meat? More often than not it is requires so many inputs that it is easier, cheaper and with less overhead to grow the entire animal. In any case, if you only grow muscle tissue, how are you going to eat kokoretsi (made from intestines), menoudo or brains?

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27019
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 6911
  • Likes Given: 4873
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1128 on: 04/28/2017 03:16 AM »
Yeah, how will I eat brains? That's what I want to know! :D
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Aussie_Space_Nut

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 159
  • South Australia
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 155
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1129 on: 04/28/2017 10:18 AM »
Robotbeat you may have just caused the destruction of all mankind. Now someone is going to create a vast vatgrown brain, which we all know, will become sentient at some point and destroy us all. Sighhhhh!

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3830
  • Liked: 481
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1130 on: 04/28/2017 09:13 PM »
Well sure, but why even bring the whole animal?  There are lots of downsides to it.  Just grow the meat up there and leave the animal out of the equation.

Yeah, but Mankind cannot live by meat alone - what if we needed to "back up" the biosphere and keep copies of living animals off-world? Also, there's always the chance that vat-grown meat may lack the same flavor/appealing characteristics of the real natural thing.

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1131 on: 07/07/2017 10:13 PM »
Over the last couple of months several articles have appeared, mostly related to VEGGIE, MELISSA and the APH. Here are a more recent one:

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/07/Cosmic_farming

On the ISS they will do a direct measurement of calories consumed by astronauts

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Research/Counting_calories_in_space


The most important article though, and more definitely the most relevant to this thread is from CSA news ,as in Crops, Soil, Agriculture, it is the general market magazine of the tri societies: Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America. It is about farming using Martian soil and the state of the art:

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/csa/articles/62/5/4

Just as I have emphasized in the past, as Jim Bell notes, Martian soil is not soil per se but regolith. I strongly suggesting reading it. Let me know if you can't see it and I will post the pdf here

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1132 on: 08/08/2017 11:43 PM »
The Advanced Plant Habitat getting ready for the ISS:

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/testing-out-a-new-plant-habitat-for-space.html

This looks a lot like the first prototype facilities on Mars, or I should say as I imagine them that they will be

Offline spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 310
  • Likes Given: 195
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1133 on: 08/09/2017 12:03 AM »
Agriculture and the other thread about chemical production on Mars will go hand in hand.  This is especially true for ammonia and nitrates for soil.  Of course, we have discussed tilapia fish and the fish waste being used as fertilizer.  Small animals like chickens and rabbits would probably come before cows. 

Offline Paul451

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1273
  • Australia
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 530
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1134 on: 08/09/2017 12:11 PM »
The Advanced Plant Habitat getting ready for the ISS:
http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/testing-out-a-new-plant-habitat-for-space.html

Wasn't the APH launched to ISS in April?

[edit: Ah. The actual APH is on ISS, delivered in April, with its PH-01 experiment delivered in June. It's still being set up. The above is an article about a duplicate which allows procedure testing on the ground before messing with the APH-proper. https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/08/03/advanced-plant-habitat-readied-for-science/]
« Last Edit: 08/09/2017 12:46 PM by Paul451 »

Offline tdperk

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1135 on: 08/10/2017 02:18 AM »
Agriculture and the other thread about chemical production on Mars will go hand in hand.  This is especially true for ammonia and nitrates for soil.  Of course, we have discussed tilapia fish and the fish waste being used as fertilizer.  Small animals like chickens and rabbits would probably come before cows.

Guinea Pigs.

They can eat even what rabbits won't, and they are single serving size.

Offline MickQ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 473
  • Australia.
  • Liked: 45
  • Likes Given: 130
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1136 on: 08/10/2017 08:02 AM »
Mmmm.  A meal you can eat with only one chopstick.

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3830
  • Liked: 481
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1137 on: 08/10/2017 07:42 PM »
Here's an article about robotic fruit-pickers:

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/washington/articles/2017-04-28/a-robot-that-picks-apples-replacing-humans-worries-some

Perhaps if we one day have agricultural domes on the Moon and Mars, such robots could pick fruit from Orchards. Other than effects from soil composition, I wonder whether the food grown in lower gravity would somehow taste discernibly different?

Offline AegeanBlue

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 416
  • Raleigh
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1138 on: 08/22/2017 06:15 PM »
Trees have the potential to produce more food per area than row crops, though how that will work on Mars is, like many other things, something we need to research. Now, if only someone was to send me on a trip to Mars to do this kind of experiment ...  :)

Apparently biologist modified yeast that feeds on urine so that it produces omega 3 fatty acids.

https://www.seeker.com/space/this-bioengineered-yeast-can-turn-astronaut-urine-into-food-and-plastic

Now if instead of omega 3 it produced the other necessary nutrients for animal production, we would have a great step forward for animal production off planet.

Online john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6038
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 782
  • Likes Given: 4860
Re: Scaling Agriculture on Mars
« Reply #1139 on: 09/25/2017 06:17 PM »
https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/csa/articles/62/5/4

Just as I have emphasized in the past, as Jim Bell notes, Martian soil is not soil per se but regolith. I strongly suggesting reading it. Let me know if you can't see it and I will post the pdf here
Interesting article.

It's a question wheather it would be cheaper to go with conventional agriculture and process regolith into soil (including perchlorate treatment) or a more artificial system using ISU water and hydroponics.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Tags: