Not a pipe dream anymore. Space-farming: A long legacy leading us to Mars
Research into space farming has resulted in numerous Earth-based advances (E.g., LED lighting for greenhouse and vertical farm applications; new seed potato propagation techniques, etc.) There are still many technical challenges, but plants and associated biological systems can and will be a major component of the systems that keep humans alive when we establish ourselves on the Moon, Mars and beyond. Ref. Source 6s.
We have known for a long time that to reach the stars and beyond we would have to have a way to produce food, water and oxygen in space. I think we have solved some of these hurdles. Growing plants in space would solve two of them pretty quickly as plants breath carbon dioxide and give of oxygen. All we would have to do is find a way to store and keep enough water to feed the plants and to provide for ourselves too. I look forward to seeing and reading about more advances in this science.
I expect we'll soon be in a position with genetic modification to start crafting new species of food bearing plants that will have few difficulties growing in space and/or on martian greenhouses.
Of course, I also expect the moment someone announces such a plan people will start panicking about the B movie monsters such an attempt would surely produce.
Hey now I liked some of those B monster movies *smile*
YEs I can understand that but with advances in hydroponics I can see this becoming more versatile options for growing food whether on mars, the moon or in a space craft.
I might be one of those people. Actually, I'm not so much worried about producing monsters as I am about producing unintended consequences. I'm talking about accidentally unleashing something that produces a devastating plague or the like. We think we know and we think we take every precaution necessary. But we don't know what we don't know, and that is scary.
DNA forms patterns with predictable results, and we have learned a great deal about what can and cannot be done.
While mistakes can indeed be made, the formation of a superplague is not among the possible outcomes of making a particularly vitamin packed potato with head sized spuds that takes advantage of low gravity conditions.
The kind of thing that would be possible is the new strain unintentionally producing some form of toxin, but that kind of thing is easily detected, and the strain gets discarded for a new iteration.
Edited: daishain on 31st Mar, 2017 - 9:52pm