Is it even possible for vegetable life to grow on Mars?
- Temperatures on Mars at the equator reach into the mid 70's F in the Summer- perfect for growing vegetables.
- The atmosphere on Mars has scant water- but it does have some. Martian atmosphere is easily compressed and what water is available can quite literally be squeezed out of the Martian air. If that won't work, water can be shipped already in the system.
- Energy can be provided via solar systems or a small REM reactor. This would provide power to run the robotic monitoring and control systems.
- Martian atmosphere is full of C02- a necessary ingredient for plant life.
Why do we need to grow food on Mars? Can't the astronauts eat space food like the Apollo moon missions did?
- Journeys to the moon took days- Mars will take eight months one way- at the shortest.
- Any mission that makes planet-fall on Mars won't spend days visiting like the astronauts did on the moon. They will need to live on Mars for many months, awaiting orbit synchronization between Earth and Mars for the return journey.
- Could you imagine eating space food for over two years? What would you do for a fresh carrot, a ripe strawberry, a sliced tomato?
- How much food does a person eat in a year? Calculate the value of that in weight and multiply by two. (It will take two or more years to journey to Mars and do anything meaningful while there.) Then multiply that number by the number of astronauts traveling to Mars. The figure is astounding. The packaging alone would add significant weight to the mission. The numbers involved will mean that the craft must be nearly 99% food storage!
- All that food weight, all that food space, makes the trip impossible for many, many decades, perhaps centuries.
But won't it take too much space to farm in a spaceship?
- If done properly, if 3D space is used efficiently, very little space would be used to provide not just rations, but good, healthy food and a great diet.
- A full diet can be grown in a very small space. Corn, wheat, carrots, peas, tomatoes- all the calories, vitamins and minerals- and all totally recycled again and again and again, for as long as is needed.
- Plants have an interesting side effect- they expel Oxygen as waste products. Oxygen for humans to breathe. That means there won't be a need to store large amounts of atmosphere. That saved space can be used for farming, equipment, quarters and science experiments.
What about power for the farms? Where will that come from?
- Any ship with enough power to maintain human life, generate protective magnetic shielding from cosmic rays, provide thrust for powerful engines and run an interplanetary ship, will have ample energy to spare for lighting the farm and powering the systems. The farms and their lighting are equivalent to running a night light in this scenario.
- Small reactors can generate power for years. If a gigantic aircraft carrier can be shoved through the ocean at better than 40 knots by reactors and if a huge submarine can traverse the globe underwater and never surface to refuel its reactor, then a similar system can generate ample power for an interplanetary spaceship. Small amounts of power are all that is needed for a spaceship garden.
There is so much more to say, so much more to explain, but that shall be done on the Vegetables From Mars website. The site name is secured and and the facts and concepts will be better explained there later. But know that as you support us, you support the goal of man throughout his long history. Since first discovering the Earth was not the only planet, the goal of setting foot on other worlds has been a dream.
But our great technological progress is under-girded by one simple fact. Man MUST eat to survive. He must indeed scratch at the Earth and live by the sweat of his brow. Wherever we go, the "humble" farmer will be with us- now and through eternity.