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Mars Ecosphere Challenge

Cash award of $2,000 every day beyond 1 year that a person lives in a closed, self sustaining mini eco-system that could be built on Mars
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The rules:

1- A human must live in a closed environment housed within a warehouse whose temperature and light are the same as that found on Mars, basically a refrigerated greenhouse with darkened glass or artificial sunlight.

2- The environment, materials, agricultural and other food growing supplies must be of a weight and volume that could be reasonably flown to mars with current technology.

3- The only raw materials that may be brought in are those that would be found on Mars. Water would be available for instance. Also sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium, as well as all the iron oxide you can use if you can think of something to do with it.

4- This would be a completely closed ecosystem with the subject eating only what was grown in the hermetically sealed module or modules.

Once the subject gets past a year, the award starts at $2,000 a day. Of course the pod dweller could have full access to all the electronic communication that a Mars dweller would have. 500 channels of cable, the internet etc. They would tend their pod's life support and food systems during the day and read, study or watch tv and surf the web at night. That might sound un-pleasant but I'd be locked in a high tech RV for a couple of years if I came out with a million bucks waiting for me. Especially if it were advancing the cause of science.

doctorremulac3, Mar 07 2014

Silent Running http://www.imdb.com...67756/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Prophetic ? [8th of 7, Mar 07 2014]

Mars radiation http://www.mars-one...tlers-be-exposed-to
A pretty neat website [doctorremulac3, Mar 08 2014]

[link]






       Internet might be tricky with a ping time measured in minutes.   

       But I like this. Should be a TV contest.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 07 2014
  

       I think we could skip the realistic internet lag time and still validate that the important stuff works.   

       Hey, maybe that's the way to fund this, with a tv show or movie. Didn't David Blain freeze himself in a block of ice for a month or something for a tv special?
doctorremulac3, Mar 07 2014
  

       Get the Big Brother franchise to take it up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 07 2014
  

       " locked in a high tech RV for 3 years if I came out with a million bucks waiting for me "   

       That works out to about $38 an hour. You would need to work out a lot, and you might still be stark raving when you came out.   

       Or in your case, when you went in...;-)   

       I guess not much worse than a prison sentence and prison food.
normzone, Mar 07 2014
  

       //completely closed ecosystem //   

       ... oxygen ? Presumably produced by electrolysis of water, but if it's 'closed', what do you do with the hydrogen ? Or can you vent that ?   

       Energy ? Solar, nuclear, fuel cells, biomass - what ?   

       Sounds a lot like a try-out for Silent Running ... <link>   

       "Calling all misanthropic vegans ..."
8th of 7, Mar 07 2014
  

       Nuclear power, solar. You keep some hydrogen for your fuel cells and vent the rest.   

       I'm guessing diversity in the diet might be lacking. I would propose some kind of greenhouse produced protein rich slime that could be converted to human chow.   

       //That works out to about $38 an hour// Perfect job for a graduate student. Beats working at Taco Bell.
doctorremulac3, Mar 07 2014
  

       // keep some hydrogen for your fuel cells and vent the rest //   

       But you can't do that on Mars, because you'd be contaminating a pristine ecosystem with all those nasty protons, and Greenpeace (or maybe Reddish-brownpeace) will be down on you like a ton of bricks.   

       //Beats working at Taco Bell. //   

       Well, if you're dealing with // greenhouse produced protein rich slime // <obligatory Soylent Green reference/> it's near enough the same thing ...   

       Refried beans, anyone ?
8th of 7, Mar 08 2014
  

       //Greenpeace (or maybe Reddish-brownpeace) will be down on you like a ton of bricks.//   

       One of the nice things about Mars, the nearest Greenpeace office is about 40 million miles away.
doctorremulac3, Mar 08 2014
  

       //whose temperature and light are the same as that found on Mars//   

       Radiation? Pressure? Gravity?   

       You could argue that pressure doesn't matter if you're dealing with an enclosed environment, but I would counter that it's most likely that a martian habitat would actually operate at below atmospheric pressure, probably close to the limits humans could adapt to.   

       And gravity severely affects how much energy a human burns, and thus how much food, for instance, would be needed. It might or might not also affect how well various food plants are going to grow.
MechE, Mar 08 2014
  

       Also, are you allowed to simulate multiple missions prior to human arrival?   

       I'd be inclined to make an early step in a real mission an inflatable ground sealed dome, and inject proper the proper biota to turn it into soil prior to human arrival. A nice farm and some disposable biomass, all ready to go.
MechE, Mar 08 2014
  

       //Radiation?// I seem to recall that the average insolation on the surface of Mars is roughly the same as that on the surface of the Earth - the greater distance and the paucity of atmosphere and cloud cover cancel each other out.
spidermother, Mar 08 2014
  

       //missions prior to human arrival// //all ready to go//   

       Yes, a Mars colony would be manned my robots years if not decades before humans arrived. The simulator could be completely outfitted with everything necessary the only stipulation being that the oxygen must be cracked from water and the food must be grown within a closed system.   

       As a 200 pound man I'd weigh 76 pounds on Mars so yes, my calorie expenditure would be less, but that's fine. In that aspect Earth would be a harsher environment.   

       Radiation exposure isn't a problem. See link.
doctorremulac3, Mar 08 2014
  

       //As a 200 pound man I'd weigh 76 pounds on Mars //   

       ... but of course your mass would still be 89kg.
8th of 7, Mar 08 2014
  

       //I seem to recall that the average insolation on the surface of Mars is roughly the same as that on the surface of the Earth//   

       I meant ionizing, not visible light. Mars doesn't have a significant magnetic field, which combined with the thinner atmosphere, makes living on the surface not recommended for long term survival.   

       [Doc] Your link is talking about a buried habitat. Again, fine for living, possibly a little depressing, but not so good for growing crops.
MechE, Mar 08 2014
  

       //I meant ionizing, not visible light.//   

       I meant radiation, not visible light :) Although the most useful radiation for powering photosynthesis and photovoltaics is likely to be more-or-less visible.   

       Yes, ionising radiation is going to be difficult to deal with. I guess the options are thick shielding that only transmits useful light, or mirrors that selectively reflect it, providing indirect illumination.
spidermother, Mar 08 2014
  

       //[Doc] Your link is talking about a buried habitat. Again, fine for living, possibly a little depressing, but not so good for growing crops.//   

       Well, I haven't actually proposed anything other than a contest wherein people solve problems inherent with living on Mars. That being said, the radiation issue isn't an insurmountable problem. Associated problems of gloomy architectural interiors and crop growing can also be solved. It might not be easy, but it is after all colonizing a planet.   

       Hmm. I thought this would get more buns. Maybe I'll change the name. Closed sounds to negative. I'll drop it and just call it ecosphere challenge. See if I can rustle up some buns with that.   

       Ok, fixed up the clumsy title and introduction. Let's see if this catches the eye a little better. Plus I raised the prize money.
doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2014
  

       I'm not really seeing what problem this is supposed to solve other than paying far above market rate for habitat volunteers... Is the prize for a team that invents a way to survive in those conditions?
Voice, Mar 09 2014
  

       //problems of gloomy architectural interiors// //an enclosed environment// //probably close to the limits humans could adapt to// //difficult to deal with//   

       So, send Brits then?
AusCan531, Mar 09 2014
  

       Scots. They are unaccustomed to sunlight, and their gloomy disposition, arising from a cobination of drab granite architecture, dour joyless Calvinism, and interminable porridge accompanied by bagpipes, make them ideally suited. The scotch equivalent of an anti- depressant is not having to eat haggis that day.   

       And there are far too many of them (i.e. more than none). This is after all the country that produced Robert Burns, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown …
8th of 7, Mar 10 2014
  

       Yay! we solve homelessness at the same time.
win win
  

       //Is the prize for a team that invents a way to survive in those conditions?//   

       Yes.
doctorremulac3, Mar 10 2014
  

       … with the added benefit that if they don't survive, you not only don't have to pay them but their bodies can be recycled into the ecosystem ready for the next gang of happy campers …
8th of 7, Mar 10 2014
  
      
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