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My dream science Project

  1. Sep 3, 2008 #1
    If you didn't know before; I would like to be an astrobiologist when I grow up. I plan to go to college for a degree in a fundamental science, and then apply to Ames University to pursue astrobiology.

    Due to this reason, I have been reading into astrobiology. I am currently through a book written by my favorite author of all time "Ben Bova". The book is called FAINT ECHOES, DISTANT STARS.

    This book has inspired me to attempt a very challenging project. I know that this project will take financing, extensive research, and determination, but if it succeeds, it could move us a step closer toward independent settlements off this planet. I'm sure this idea has been thought of, but in any case, at least I will get a head start on this years science project!

    It may not come as a surprise to you that my idea is to create a completely independent, self regulation biosphere.

    My idea is to make a completely air tight 5 foot, by 5 foot, by 3 foot, airtight, glass greenhouse. The bottom of this greenhouse would be organic and inorganic compounds with all the necessary nutrients for cyanobacteria to prosper, and reproduce.

    To monitor air content, there would be gauges connected to the inside. Also, there would be a device that can start a fire inside. This way, we can make sure the green house is mainly carbon dioxide.

    Then we would let the bacteria turn the carbon dioxide rich air into more oxygen rich air. Then we watch the bacteria die off as they poison themselves with the oxygen they produce.

    Next, we introduce some type of organisms into the biosphere that can turn oxygen into carbon dioxide. This would help to regulate each other. To many cyanobacteria, and there isn't enough bugs to give them carbon dioxide, so they die off until there is equilibrium. They can balance each other out. Kinda like gaia theory.

    I'm not quite sure all the details on how to make the ground stay nutrient rich. I think if we chose easily decomposable organisms and bacteria to introduce into the biosphere, they can decompose enough to feed each other, correct?

    Also, we can add self regulating mirrors to equip onto the biosphere in order to keep up photo synthesis.

    We could go as far as equiping a self heat and radiation system to protect the organisms, and put it into orbit to see if they can stay self regulating.

    This is my idea. I thought I'd call it the Gaia green house, or something along those lines.

    The information I need now; is how I can get the soil to keep itself nutrient-rich for the bacteria, and how to keep enough food to keep the bugs alive. I'm sure I need much more, but this is a start.

    Thanks for reading.



    My father has been looking for a project to do with me. I know that if I work out a good plan, he will pay, and help me to get all the necessary materials. I just need a complete plan.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2008 #2
    Wow.. it sounds like you have quite an idea there! I am highly impressed by your ambition to want to turn your project into a reality, dispite still being in high school (correct?).

    Have you considered, if you were to "launch this into orbit," that it would be in a non-gravitational enviornment. I'm not sure if that would have any important ramifications or not. You're basically wanting to create a psudoboisphere that can sustain itself in space? I would recomend researching and experimenting in a conrolled, earthly (yet enclosed) enviorment to try to re-create the effects of being outside the earth. For instance, applying some sort of light filter to the psudo-biosphere in order to re-create the type of light that would be reaching it from the moon's distance to the sun.
  4. Sep 3, 2008 #3
    Dear eNathan

    Yes. Though I'm a little scared, I will be going into 9th grade soon. Lol.

    Thank you for bringing up the gravity problem. I think that would definitely is an obstacle due to the fact that the biosphere would have to be prism shaped so that it can rotate around an axis to create artificial gravity. This would completely reshape the model.

    I think it would be best to start out with the flat version on Earth 1st. Once equilibrium has been achieved, and proven successful; then we can recreate the model as a cylinder in order to create the necessary artificial gravity.

    On the subject of light; I believe that self adjusting mirrors would solve this problem. I do agree that artificial light could work, but this would make it harder to make the biosphere independent. The energy source would obviously be light, so either way, light is necessary and mirrors, I feel, would serve there purpose.


  5. Sep 4, 2008 #4

    Andy Resnick

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