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So i have thought months ago about what nasa has for plans for sustainable food on longer missions. now i see there is a DEEP SPACE FOOD CHALLENGE. i copy and pasted the parameters at the bottom. it works out to a 6×8 room with a 1500 watts average 3000 watts max power requirement. there is also a ton of other stuff other than what i posted, also please look at the website for more info. but if you had a billion dollars to make a dream grow what route would you take? as cannabis cultivators i feel like we would be at the top of the crop… so to say on inputs on a project like this. so many different backgrounds and grow styles, the collective xp that’s been hiding in the bushes over time is insane. how would you decide to grow if you wanted to smuggle a seed or 2 on your mission? mineral based? aquaponics (poor fishies)? organic? i mean after all 22c and 50% rh is good enough to get a crop lol. it has to be sustainable (they will never know muuuuwwwahahahahahaha). to get an idea too there is a place here in the great white north called Nunavut that has a year around green house that supplies lots of fresh veggies to locals. (the town is very far north and remote, cold as fuck in the winter….think worse than texas or similarish to antarctica. serious… look up the location). i’m not sure what the inputs are or if its sustainable long term in isolation or not though. they may rely on shipments from the outside world to keep it going, but they do it year around in some of what can be the coldest temps on earth. they are also looking for a system that can be used in real world applications. LETS FEED THE WORLD(S) DGC!

My biased input compared to my current situation: i would do a living organic grow. use a mulch material that keeps soil and moisture in place. double door system with air filter and protocols to keep system contained from alien worlds (if that’s a worry, i’m sure it is. i have no idea what their protocol is for the bacteria that live on us naturally). average draw of 1500 watts with a max draw of 3000….. for a 6×8? now days with a half a billion dollar light that’s easy no? got power to spare in my eyes. they require 4 hours max per week crop maintenance time for an entire crew of 4. (so 1 hour per person per week). there is no way i spend 4 hours a week maintaining my grow.  i feel like that its possible with this style. you can use dry amendments that have relatively very little weight and could sustain for very long periods of time, and combine that with waste generated that would be recycled into the system making it available in the future. (you could even go as far as the vermicomposting toilet…..ewwwwwww lol, and i have no idea how worms do in space, lets hope good). technically though if you recycle the human waste you would get almost all of the nutrients back. the only thing taking from the system would be what your body actually uses, and what’s in use currently. this system possibly could be independently implemented on a habitable world or easily(ish) in another country with the native resources. after all life was built with rocks water and sun! (#just add water?)(#capture carbon?) lol

lets have some fun with this!

Table 1. Constraints

Item Constraint
Volume
  • Food production technology must:
    • Be ≤ 2 cubic meters
    • Pass through a doorway that is 1.07 m wide and 1.90 m tall
      • Fit in a room that is: 1.829 m X 2.438 m X 2.591 m (W x D x H)
Power
  • Maximum draw of 3,000 Watts
  • Average draw of <1,500 Watts
Water
  • Net consumption of water is not constrained, but greater net water consumption may result in a lower score on the Resource Inputs & Outputs performance requirement described in Table 3
  • Net consumption of water is measured by the following equation:
    • CNet = (Initial water input + “new water” added over time)
  • In this calculation:
    • Do not include water recycled by your system in the “new water”
    • Do not subtract the water remaining in your system after the food has been collected
    • Do not subtract water lost to the vehicle environment (e.g., water evaporated into the vehicle’s air)
Mass
  • Not constrained, but greater mass may result in a lower score on the Resource Inputs & Outputs performance requirement
Data Connection
  • In Phase 1, the technology may be designed to transmit operational data and limited video to a remote location outside of the technology itself, and receive periodic operational commands. Future phases of this Challenge will require greater autonomy.
Crew Time
  • Maintenance & Operations of the system: Not constrained, although Teams should target a maximum crew time of 4 hours per week for operations of the food production technology for the entire crew of 4 individuals.
Operational Constraints
  • Earth gravity (9.81 m/s²) and ambient atmospheric conditions of 101,325 Pascals, 22 degrees Celsius, and 50 percent relative humidity.