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Old 08-29-2011, 09:32 AM
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Agricultural Life On Mars

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Astronauts on the first manned mission to Mars are likely to number horticultural experts and chefs as well as more traditional ex-military personnel.
Supplying enough food for a round trip to the Red Planet is one of the greatest challenges facing mission planners, experts were told yesterday.
One solution under consideration is for astronauts to grow their own food in a hi-tech 'kitchen garden'.

Long-haul destination: After trundling across Mars for three years, Nasa Opportunity imaged a portion of the west rim of Endeavour crater where it arrived earlier this month. Astronauts on the first manned mission to the Red Planet are likely to number farmers and chefs:


They would also need adequate cooking skills to provide varied, tasty menus that lift spirits and ward off boredom.
Astronauts going to Mars would be far more food-savvy than their International Space Station colleagues.
Dr Maya Cooper, from Nasa's Space Food Systems Laboratory in Houston, Texas, said a five-year mission to Mars would require almost 7,000lb of food per person.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver, Colorado, she said: 'That's a clear impediment to a lot of mission scenarios.
'We need new approaches. Right now, we are looking at the possibility of implementing a bio-regenerative system that would involve growing crops in space and possibly shipping some bulk commodities to a Mars habitat as well.
'This scenario involves much more food processing and meal preparation than the current food system developed for the space shuttles and the International Space Station.'

Bio-regenerative systems involve growing 'multi-task' plants that not only provide food but also release oxygen for astronauts to breathe, remove the carbon dioxide they exhale, and even purify water.
Ideally such plants would have few inedible parts, grow easily with minimal tending, and take up little room.
Ten potential 'space crops' that pass the test for a Mars mission are lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, radishes, bell peppers, strawberries, fresh herbs and cabbages.
Nasa expects to launch its first manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.
Another option is for long shelf-life provisions for an extended stay on Mars to be sent in unmanned spacecraft ahead of the human explorers.

Mock mission: The Mars500 crew have now spent 452 days in isolation as they 'journey' to the Red Planet - long enough for them to have made 75 return trips to the moon. They are actually based in a Moscow car park:


Space food has come a long way since Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin munched on pate and caviar during the first manned spaceflight in 1961.
In the early days of space flight, astronauts had to endure freeze-dried food blocks and toothpaste-like nutrient squeezed from tubes.
By the late 1960s, astronauts were enjoying hot food in space, and in the 1970s they had a choice of 72 different foods, some of which were stored in an on-board refrigerator or freezer.
In recent years, space shuttle astronauts have been able to breakfast on scrambled egg and coffee, snack on chocolates or brownies, and choose from lunch and dinner menus that include dishes such as Chicken a la King and rice pilaf.
The foods are pre-packaged and take only a few minutes to prepare.

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Old 08-29-2011, 03:30 PM
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Re: Agricultural Life On Mars

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Nasa expects to launch its first manned mission to Mars in the 2030s
that's a long wait

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Old 08-29-2011, 04:41 PM
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Re: Agricultural Life On Mars

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Space food has come a long way since Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin munched on pate and caviar during the first manned spaceflight in 1961.
Pate and caviar are tasty. Seems like they went backwards before going forwards again.

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Old 08-30-2011, 03:12 AM
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Re: Agricultural Life On Mars

I wonder when McDonalds will open up its first orbital drive thru?

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Old 08-30-2011, 10:43 AM
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Re: Agricultural Life On Mars

Whenever the McRib returns!

Sounds like an interesting concept though.
2030 is just around the corner

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Old 08-30-2011, 10:43 AM
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:54 AM
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Re: Agricultural Life On Mars

Hopefully I'll be one of those people going to mars one day

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