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Space-relevant research activities on earth

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:38 am
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Space-relevant research activities on earth 
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Post Space-relevant research activities on earth   Posted on: Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:38 am
What research activities on earth might be useful but ignored until now?

This weekend I was thinking about the question of living in an spacecraft traveling for the mars and what might be provided for the crew.

The answer seems to be relatively clear - but I had a special point in mind: Many people have in mind ideas of terraforming and are asking how to do that. But in principle the problem of providing food during the travel to Mars as subject to NASA researches is considering terraforming too - considerations of growing plants in spacecrafts are not very different to the question of how to make plants grow on Mars.

To return to my question - there are activities based on research as well as being critized by research doing nothing else than terraforming earth itself. And there are research activities on this terraforming.

Here are the topics I'm speaking of:

1. Some arab rich countries are working on making the desert green.
2. There are scientists and researchers surviving in the Antarctis.
3. The researches mentioned under 2. are researching the life in the Antarctis
4. The deserts are growing and the man tries to struggle against this desertification.
5. Arabian and african nomads are behaving and living in a manner that makes the deserts grow.
6. There have been considerations how to move mnasses of water to the Sahara in the past .



What other probable space-relevant activities may be added? And which of these activities might be done in space privately?



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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 17, 2004 12:20 am
Wouldn't hydroponics count? Although it's already being done... They've experimented with hydroponics on the shuttles haven't they?

Ever been to "The Land" in DisneyWorld's EPCOT?? They have a pretty nice and very successful hydroponics lab there. Interesting if you get the chance to stop by.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:48 am
Hello, eraurocktchick87,

thank you for the nice advice - but I never have been in the US yet. But I will do as you are recommending to me.

Hydroponics will count. I don't know what the Arabs are doing really - may be hydroponics are involved. The thing they are sorrowly critized for is that they are making use of the ground water under the deserts. The desrt is becoming green now but it may be a desert in decades again - and then an even more dry desert that in the past. Hydroponics wouldn't be critized I think.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:09 pm
well the hydroponics obviously use water as well but it uses much less than irrigation to water fields in the middle of the desert would...

and i just remembered that the hydroponic labs at Disney are in collaboration with NASA... thats an interesting combination of companies, no?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:40 am
I heard some story from my friend about how they fed some astronaut up in the space station nothing but nutrients and vitamins, amino acids etc., instead of food to see if he'd still live since the vitamins had all the nutrition to sustain human life, but that after so long without food he got all depressed and suicidal and stuff.
Not sure that it's true, but I beleive it. Food's awesome and I'd hate to give it up. Even if it was to sail beyond the sunset.

An interesting book came out called 'How to grow fresh air' by B.C. Wolverton, which used information based on studies done by NASA on which plants work best for producing oxygen, scrubbing the air of smells and contaminants, and which ones worked best at removing various other kinds of solvents and glues. The studies were done not only to determine which ones would work best at removing things when used hydroponically and whatnot, but also to see if a sealed chamber of some set size with plants growing in it could sustain human needed oxygen levels and convert the necessary amounts of carbon dioxide.
It's a great book, I highly recommend checking it out sometime.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:24 am
Well, one of the Centenial Challenge projects was really simple and could be worked upon at home.

Space suit gloves.

Really, the entire problem of making a better space suit, in my opinion, has been under-researched by NASA. And gloves are small enough to be workable using a reasonable sized vaccum chamber (They are harder than you'd think to work with -- see http://yarchive.net/metal/bees_vacuum.html) that a hobyist could construct.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:31 am
Oh, and from NASA Watch:
http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/news/news-NG.asp?id=54171

Because man can't live on twinkies alone, although it would be fun to try. ;)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:52 pm
Thanks for the info, the links were very interesting, especially the twinkie one ;) But I'm not sure if the vacuum article made me want to try it out lol.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:29 am
[quote=http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/twinkies.htm]According to Hostess, it takes forty-five seconds to explode a Twinkie in a microwave.[/quote]

I've GOTTA try that one. Now to find out how long it takes to explode a full box......

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:40 am
See, that's why there's some debate about exactly *how* to handle the vacuum chambers.

See, the big thing is that they'd need to print up the blueprints and the people who wanted to mess with it would have to follow them.

One of my hobbies involves the use of vacuum, oddly enough. I work with neon tubing and that's pretty trouble and danger-free (although the acconpanying 15 kV required to make things work is a little more dangerous :/)

A "good enough" vacuum pump can be removed from a disused refrigerator.

Really, it would just be a box, made out of thick steel plates, welded on a stick welder. The tricky part is seating the glass, although as long as the glass is thick enough, there's nothing that a metal flange and generous amounts of epoxy won't solve. ;) Or, of course, a mini-camera or two and a very small protrusion.

The big highlight is that, as long as your vacuum chamber is reasonably structurally sturdy, the big problem ends up being leaks, which just means that you can't hold a vacuum and not that you'll be picking glass shards out of your eyeballs.

I suspect that they could make it in such a way that you could either weld it yourself or take it to a local specialty metalshop.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:01 am
spacecowboy wrote:
[quote=http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/twinkies.htm]According to Hostess, it takes forty-five seconds to explode a Twinkie in a microwave.


I've GOTTA try that one. Now to find out how long it takes to explode a full box......[/quote]

*runs out to buy twinkies*

hey, if they're that explosive, maybe we can use them as propellant? :lol:


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:09 pm
In addition to the VERITY weld analysis process, we have this
New Genius:


"Michael Viscardi is a 16-year-old mathematician from San Diego, Calif...won the prestigious Siemens-Westinghouse Competition...Viscardi updated a late 19th century law by mathematician Lejeune Dirichlet...His theory can be applied to all shapes and sizes of metal. The research could lead to better airplane wing design, better stabilization of the NASA space shuttle, and high-speed rail transportation..."


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Post Re: Space-relevant research activities on earth   Posted on: Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:20 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
What research activities on earth might be useful but ignored until now?

This weekend I was thinking about the question of living in an spacecraft traveling for the mars and what might be provided for the crew.

The answer seems to be relatively clear -


For what it is worth, I would like to add my vote that biosphere research is the most important technology for opening up space, and the easiest for a hobbiest to jump into without military-scale budgets.

If you could build an environment that could just keep running on nothing but sunlight then I wonder why you would want to land on another planet anyway. especially after all the effort to get off this one.


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