Food in space

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Can we growing food in outer space?
 

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  • #2
Ryan_m_b
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Food can be grown http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroponics" [Broken] by astronauts but they have to take all the necessary nutrients with them. If they wanted to grow food on other bodies (asteroids, planets etc) they would have to have a way of mining and refining the necessary nutrients from the environment for the hydro-/aeroponic farm. We do not yet have the technology to do this, in addition the relevant chemicals may not even be present.
 
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  • #3
I think the question should be formulated a little bit differently. Will we grow food in outer space some day or when living in space we'll use another way for feeding our bodies?
 
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Ryan_m_b
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Evo
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when living in space we'll use another way for feeding our bodies?
You mean like people getting fed through a tube into their stomach, as if they were in a coma?

Can you explain what you mean? Your post is too vague.
 
  • #6
Andy Resnick
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Can we growing food in outer space?
There are a few serious technical obstacles to growing food without gravity. The main one that I know of is that water does not stay in contact with the roots; the flow of water in a porous medium without gravity to drive the flow is almost totally driven by surface tension and diffusion. This results in the roots drying out as the local water is absorbed. Plants that use nitrogen-fixing bacteria have the additional problem of gas bubbles forming around the root.

Then there is the matter of growing plants in a self-contained biome: the results of Biosphere 1 and 2 (potentially useful experiments) are telling.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2

Also the amount of space and resources (light, heat, water, etc) required to grow and support sufficient crops is (currently) out of proportion to the benefit. Then there's the matter of pollination, use of pesticides/fungicides (it's hot and humid up there...), and what to do in case the crops fail.
 

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