RE: Space Colony Survival

Billy Brown (
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:58:22 -0600 wrote:
> In a message dated 99-03-31 10:55:13 EST,
> (Billy Brown) writes:
> > As an interesting note, I will point out that no one has ever even come
> > close to building a real, completely closed, indefinite duration life
> > support system. Recycling air and water has been done, but no one even
> > tries to tackle the food production problem.
> Actually Biosphere 2 did. The pilot experiment worked fine; the main
> Biosphere would probably have worked too except for the humorous result
> of building scenery and artifical landscape.

Good point - although I think we have to put them in the 'tried but failed' category. If they had been on Mars the whole group would have been dead pretty quickly.

> The cost of the biosphere, however, isn't promising. $300 million for six
> people is a lot. Even accounting for the fact that 5/6 was ecological
> experiments it's still nearly 10 million per person, and that's on Earth,
> even.

Yes. I am also unimpressed by the amount of effort the crew had to invest in just growing their food. Our Martian colonists need a situation like modern America, where 1% of the people can grow food for the other 99%. With their methods we'd be looking at more like 90% farmers.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I