RE: SPACE: How hard IS it to get off Earth?

Billy Brown (
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 11:24:55 -0600

Eric Watt Forste wrote:
> Again, if it's going to be functioning in space, with a closed
> boundary, with living organisms in it, then it *is* a complete
> ecosystem. The question is not whether or not you need a
> complete ecosystem, the question is whether the ecosystem you
> construct will flourish or die.

No, the question is whether you need to imitate a natural biosystem, or whether some functions can be performed by mechanical systems. Your arguments notwithstanding, all experience to date suggests that the answer is a definite yes.

> The system you describe, a closed system with just a few
> species, has actually been attempted in early closure
> experiments. It proved, empirically, unstable. So I don't know
> why you feel that we already know how to do this when past
> attempts to do so have failed.

Exactly who has performed such an experiment, when, and under what circumstances? AFAIK nothing of the sort has ever been attempted, because no one has ever needed to do it. Biosphere definitely falls into the overcomplex, naturalistic approach that I argue against.

I notice that you still fail to actually list any specific problems with the simple approach to long-term life support. Is this, perhaps, because you can't name one?

Billy Brown, MCSE+I