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Space Farms

Posted by: box - Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:28 pm
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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Mon May 20, 2013 7:01 am
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There's also billions more people than there were 200 years ago, and because of our culture, every one of them deserves at least one SUV.


I see. I think it's great that the world is filled with billions of people, and every one should have an SUV, if they want. Life is good.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Mon May 20, 2013 1:38 pm
Psiberzerker wrote:
Hell, I'll blow out the candles for you when the government finally forces Detroit to retool their factories. (And that's just 1 Industry.)


IIRC GM had to stick back together the EV plans they put in the shredder and are now selling it as the something Volt as part of their Government subsidy get out of bankruptcy deal.


Psiberzerker wrote:
I'm not a pessimist just because I believe it would be easier to terraform the only planet we've walked on than the one that doesn't have enough gravity to support an atmosphere we can breathe. There's a difference between optimism, and wishful thinking. No, I'm not a pessimist, I just have seen the numbers, dispationately, and they don't look good.


Since the industrial revolution we have been Humaforming the earth not terraforming it and although we have the phrase you should not sh!t in your own nest, often baby birds do and its the parents that get rid of the muck. But humans unless you are of a strong religious persuasion are still child like orphans on their own that have to learn for themselves, and rather than risk doing something that knocks our one shared nest out of the tree it would be much better to experiment in little test nests in other trees our new ideas for sewage disposal/recycling rather than risk messing up any more the one that still has all our current and future eggs in it.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Mon May 20, 2013 4:24 pm
I designed an electric car concept that can be recharged in 20 seconds.....


Use a "Bullet Belt" of batteries,(like a gatling) that are fed into a "magazine" that then closes a "contact layer" connecting up all the cells....

best for a few reasons....

1. Any car can use 1 type of battery, just more or less of them

2. 1 cell goes bad, you fix it, try that with a Volt....

3. I can replace your battery with a tow truck.....

and many more....

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Tue May 21, 2013 4:43 am
SANEAlex wrote:
IIRC GM had to stick back together the EV plans they put in the shredder and are now selling it as the something Volt as part of their Government subsidy get out of bankruptcy deal.
The perfect example of the Detroit Conspiracy (With the US Government) is the modern Hybrid Electric. What i mean by "Retool" is that our motor technology is still using the Otto Cycle reciprocating pistons because that's what the big 3 are set up to mass produce, and making something else would require shutting them down to retool the factories for making something else. This is why more efficient designs like the Wankel were filed away in a disused laboratory in a dark basement without stairs, and a "Beware the Leopard" sign right next to the Arc of the Covenant. Detroit doesn't want to make Rotary engines, because they're not set up for it.

We need real Electric Vehicles, not one ton Detroit steel retrofitted for generators, and with an engine compartment still dominated with a reciprocating piston otto cycle block because that's all they want to build. You know why EVs have such short range? Because most of the losses in our woefully (single digit %) inefficient vehicles is accelerating, and decelerating 1 ton to move a 150Lb preson around the corner to pick up a pack of cigarettes. Yes, there are exceptions, like the Volt, Leaf, and Smart, but a decade after we discovered that we're now officially capable of affecting the Atmosphere without trying, the vast majority of models are still the same damned cars with new styling. The EVs are even rated for MPG, because that's what we've been told is the measure of efficiency. And again, that's 1 industry of many.

SANEAlex wrote:
Since the industrial revolution we have been Humaforming the earth not terraforming it and although we have the phrase you should not sh!t in your own nest, often baby birds do and its the parents that get rid of the muck. But humans unless you are of a strong religious persuasion are still child like orphans on their own that have to learn for themselves, and rather than risk doing something that knocks our one shared nest out of the tree it would be much better to experiment in little test nests in other trees our new ideas for sewage disposal/recycling rather than risk messing up any more the one that still has all our current and future eggs in it.


Potato Potatoe, my point is we are affecting the environment. Now, we can learn to do it, or we can keep doing it by accident, go to space, and import the same ignorant lazy consumer culture to live in those perfect habitats with our habits, and kipple. We're killing ourselves with inefficiency, and your solution is to dedicate the resources to make an utterly inhospitible environment survivable for people who don't know how to live anywhere without [censored] it up. That is more waste of more energy.

This is the Garden of Eden compared to Space, or any planet we barely have the technology to reach, let alone Terraform, and colonize. Even if we do that, we'll have a brave new world with the same old people. Fix the people first.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Tue May 21, 2013 5:14 am
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Space Farms are a bad idea (I even have some idea how to make them) but even a good design doesn't exist in a vaccuum. It not only has to work, but it has to work with real people, and within the system for which it is designed. People are a bad design, especially for surviving in space. The way we live is barely adequate for the world we evolved in, quite literally, the perfect environment for us. Now, take that, and put it in a habitat where the margin for error is thin, and instantly fatal. Outside is death, cold, airless, and ready to rush in at the slightest oportunity.

Ban guns, and they will make them. "You never know when the Aliens will show up." Ban Alcohol, and they will sell it on a grey market to the guy who's not supposed to have a gun. Designing for real people is not about Optimism, but planning for the worse case scenario. In this case, it's an American consumer working anywhere in that system with the hard vacuum, and radiation right outside the window. Make anything foolproof, and they will make a better fool.

Likewise, I can tell you how to make a workable Flying Car. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how to stop Drunk Driving.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Tue May 21, 2013 12:28 pm
Psiberzerker wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Space Farms are a bad idea (I even have some idea how to make them) but even a good design doesn't exist in a vaccuum. It not only has to work, but it has to work with real people, and within the system for which it is designed. People are a bad design, especially for surviving in space. The way we live is barely adequate for the world we evolved in, quite literally, the perfect environment for us. Now, take that, and put it in a habitat where the margin for error is thin, and instantly fatal. Outside is death, cold, airless, and ready to rush in at the slightest oportunity.

Ban guns, and they will make them. "You never know when the Aliens will show up." Ban Alcohol, and they will sell it on a grey market to the guy who's not supposed to have a gun. Designing for real people is not about Optimism, but planning for the worse case scenario. In this case, it's an American consumer working anywhere in that system with the hard vacuum, and radiation right outside the window. Make anything foolproof, and they will make a better fool.

Likewise, I can tell you how to make a workable Flying Car. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how to stop Drunk Driving.


Easy, ban human controlled vehicles. :) End of drunk driving. :)

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Tue May 21, 2013 7:41 pm
box wrote:
Easy, ban human controlled vehicles. :) End of drunk driving. :)
Good luck with that, people won't buy a car they can't drive themselves. They say "I don't trust them," but what they really mean is they like feeling in control. Ironic, because it could save a lot of lives if implemented. My concept for it would be a Collision Avoidance Radar that transmits the vehicle's position, and heading as part of it's Radar signal so that every other vehicle knows where it is, where it's going, and how fast.

With something not unlike the old Cellular system, traffic switching would be electronic to control traffic patterns, and prevent pileups. It'd never sell, though. People want to fly their cars, not just sit back, and let them take them for a ride. Also, anything in the air except for aerostats are held there by thrust, or lift with forward motion. If they lose power, they either glide, or fly like an anvil. (Straight down at about 10m/s/s) Powered down, they would require manual controls to glide safely, and some clever bastard would figure out how to disable the autonymous systems before tying one on, and eventually flying drunk.

Make anything foolproof, and they just come out with a better fool. That's what we have to design everything for.

The other reason why we need to not have Flying Cars is that we're killing ourselves with inefficiency, and pollution. Any such design is going to be either a Street Legal aircraft, or a car with flight capability, but the need for at least 2 propulsion systems make them less efficient than either one doing the one thing it's designed to well. And finally, the need to stay in the air against Gravity means burning energy constantly. A hybrid Car can stop at a light, and shut down the motor, or at least let it idyl while it stores the energy. A hovering aircraft (Assuming it's heavier than air) has to burn fuel constantly just too stay in one place.

All the cheap oil is gone, so it's only getting more expensive. We got Detroit kicking, and screaming against any innovation that might cost them, and that leaves us with lip service pretending to work on token "Green Vehicles." Meanwhile, everyone that watched the Jetsons as a kid is clammoring "It's the future, where's my flying car?" Assuming, of course that they can afford it, get in, and drive it just like their dad's Pinto.

Look around, cars are killing enough people, and blackening the skies bad enough on the ground. The idea of giving them the freedom to ascend to altitudes you can't survive falling from without a parachute while still weighing tons somehow doesn't make me feel safer.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Tue May 21, 2013 8:00 pm
I fairly regularly sit in cars that are being driven by others, and I don't mind not being in control at all. I'm not so sure that that's such a problem.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Wed May 22, 2013 10:14 am
Lourens wrote:
I fairly regularly sit in cars that are being driven by others, and I don't mind not being in control at all. I'm not so sure that that's such a problem.

Are you in the habit of relinquishing control of Your car to others by default? I was referring to that from a Consumer's standpoint. Sure, people will buy Lexi with the ability to Parallel Park autonymously, but that's because they hate parallel parking. It's a long way from that to buying a car without manual controls, and giving up the possibility to drive for themselves. They say they don't trust the safety of such a vehicle, when really, they don't want to give up Control, nor admit that the weak point in such a system is probably the Driver. It's the same mindset as the Serial Drunk Driver. Of course it's bad, but "I know what I'm doing." I'm not like those other DDs, who run down school kids, and little old ladies. I'm not that drunk, so go ahead and blow into this thing in my dash-board so I can get to the next bar...

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Thu May 23, 2013 1:48 pm
Just to direct the discussion back to space farms.

My original "question" in my head was which of the two basic concepts are more efficient or better.

Large structures with immense surface area wrapped up in one solid object. Possibly robots and humans operating within the structure moving around in a pressurised environment. By large I mean on the scales of kilometers, like big disks, or toruses or spheres etc...

vs.

Large number of small pods that carry out a unit of growth. So lets say each pod produces 100 kg of starch/production cycle. The pods have no human presence inside, at best there are small specialised robotic arms or drones within. Otherwise the pods are sealed units that are processed on a regular basis at the end of one production cycle, otherwise they are freefloating or are simply connected by tethers in some grid or network. The production facility either is a mobile larger structure that moves along the field visiting, opening, and tending to pods regularly, or the pods are moved to the harvester facility, or the pods can handle harvesting themselves and simply exchange harvested material for raw material input.

So the contrast is one big solid structure vs. a large field of smaller structures "flying" in formation.

My opinion is that the pod system is better because it is inherently redundant, and it is easily scalable once the pod production and harvester production is automated.

Large solid structures would be harder to manufacture, scale up or scale down depending on demand. That is not to say that there wouldn't or shouldn't be large habitats where we can grow food and live happy lives. It's just in order for a fast expansion into space we need systems that are easily constructed, easily scaled up with demand, and also is redundant in case of inevitable failure.

Although I guess there is a hybrid option. Its a large solid structure constructed from small pods that don't actually sustain humans or large organisms within. So each component is a small "tank" with a couple of hundred square meters of surface area neatly folded within to maximise efficiency of using space. Much like an enlarged version of a cell organelle like a cholorplast or mitochondrion.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Thu May 23, 2013 2:00 pm
Once you have space resources and fabrication techniques down, very large structures are actually easier and more efficient to build. Yes a big monolithic space will be more vulnerable to damage, but by the time they become practical, the big space colonies from science fiction, they will be both so big that micro-asteroids won't be much of a threat and there will be technologies to off set it ("force-fields" etc.).

In the near term, and especially if you have to lift all or most of it from Earth, then your space farm is probably going to resemble the ISS. A tinkertoy arrangement of connectors and farm modules. Might even resemble plant stem and leaves, which would be an ironic touch.


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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Thu May 23, 2013 4:32 pm
box wrote:
My original "question" in my head was which of the two basic concepts are more efficient or better.

Large structures with immense surface area wrapped up in one solid object. Possibly robots and humans operating within the structure moving around in a pressurised environment. By large I mean on the scales of kilometers, like big disks, or toruses or spheres etc...

vs.

Large number of small pods that carry out a unit of growth. The pods have no human presence inside, at best there are small specialised robotic arms or drones within. Otherwise the pods are sealed units that are processed on a regular basis at the end of one production cycle, otherwise they are freefloating or are simply connected by tethers in some grid or network. The production facility either is a mobile larger structure that moves along the field visiting, opening, and tending to pods regularly, or the pods are moved to the harvester facility, or the pods can handle harvesting themselves and simply exchange harvested material for raw material input.

So the contrast is one big solid structure vs. a large field of smaller structures "flying" in formation.

My opinion is that the pod system is better because it is inherently redundant, and it is easily scalable once the pod production and harvester production is automated.

Large solid structures would be harder to manufacture, scale up or scale down depending on demand. That is not to say that there wouldn't or shouldn't be large habitats where we can grow food and live happy lives. It's just in order for a fast expansion into space we need systems that are easily constructed, easily scaled up with demand, and also is redundant in case of inevitable failure.

Although I guess there is a hybrid option. Its a large solid structure constructed from small pods that don't actually sustain humans or large organisms within. So each component is a small "tank" with a couple of hundred square meters of surface area neatly folded within to maximise efficiency of using space. Much like an enlarged version of a cell organelle like a cholorplast or mitochondrion.


It depends on the entire system around it, logistics, and infrastructure...
What are we building them for, to feed/fuel the world, or just the orbital habitats. Why kind of said habitats are we talking about, macrostations, or individual homes in parallel orbits (Or more likely, a mix of high orbit "Cities" and lower orbit single homes, and communities, like "Towns.)

I would suggest adding the Farms as part of the habitat structures if that's what we're talking about. This would not only be Food production, but also life Support by converting CO2 back into free oxygen, water vapor, and simple carbohydrates, of course. This saves fuel-oxydizer from shipping resources between the agrarian habitats to the residential ones.

Large scale agricorp instilations would most efficiently the massive macroscale stations, probably at the Terra-solar libration points for stable constant illumination. One large structure is more efficient from a Volume/structure standpoint (Efficiency is a factor of what variables you're trying to conserve) so to actually build them for long term, and large scale, ideally you just want to make 1.

The scattered modular ones can be expanded, and as you mentioned, isn't putting all our eggs in one basket. Also, for fuel efficiency, whenever we passed through the Leonid Stream, for instance, it's a lot easier to thrust dodge debris moving at interplanetary velocities the less massive they are, multiplied by the number of threatened modules, of course.

Unfortunately, the most efficient shape for volume, a Sphere is not the most efficient for Area. We want them spread out as much as practicable to get the maximum illumination for the energy to drive the most photosynthesis. That's why i suggested a spinning disk, it will work out to be more structure/volume, but you'll get more plants in the sunlight that way, and have spin accelleration for the humans that quite honestly would be necessary. Yes, Robaots can do the work, but that means adding another energy system to the structure. Possibly Solar Pannels which takes up collection area from the plants, or algae that are what it's all about, maintenance, reactors, and so forth.

Or, you can use people, with the fuel, and oxydizer right there for synergy. We're designed to work symbiotically with plants, and we'd have to make plants specifically to work effectively with machines. After all, the byproducts of all this farming are for people anyway, we don't need to make the machines for the farms for the people who make the machines... Every breath, the workers would be producing the CO2 the plants need to make sugars to keep the people running. Pd That kind of Rochambeau is one more step than we need, and creates a point of failure we certainly don't. (Occam's Razor is particularly sharp in orbit.) Knock out any one leg, and the tripod falls down.

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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:24 pm
I actually picture that in the near to mid term (+- the next century) real space habitats for the first independent "spacers", might look more like a hippy's house than something from Star Trek. Picture the interior of Mir or Skylab where the walls and bulkheads are covered with plants throughout. It would resemble more a greenhouse than a sterile laboratory.


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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:56 am
But the plants will be carnivorous like in Star Trek right? Because I don't think any of us wants to imagine a future without carnivorous plants in space. :cry:

Attachment:
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...or blonde beehives for that matter.


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Post Re: Space Farms   Posted on: Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:43 pm
Well with all the radiation you might wind up that way...

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