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perpetual motion

Rabbits to explore the cosmos
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If we could build a spacecraft capable of sustaining rabbits anmd carrot plants. We could send this ship off exploring the galaxy, sending back informations and returning thousands of years later. Due to the limited speed of current technology, space exploration takes too long, however, if we use rabbits (which breed rather quickly) there would always be a source of life on board, plus, the carrots feed the rabbits, and eventually, the rabbits become semi carnivorous. The excriment produced could fertise the carrot crops (which covert the CO2 to O2) as well as propel the ship. The potential downside is the eventual return of an eveolved species of canibalistic space rabbit. But over the thousands of years, and encouters with new races, they may have become more sedate.

Amendum:

But surely if the rabbits exercise on wheels, not to mention their own body heat, all mixed with the abundance of superfluous rabbits available for combustion, it would be possible to generate heat and light. As for the eco system, as there is such an excess of rabbits, the combustions of a few for fuel, and the fact that they eat each other, as well as the carrots, means that they can balance the eco system by reproduction.

bobsta, Sep 17 2001

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       Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but carrot plants also need light to survive, and both the plants and the rabbits need a temperature at which water is liquid and proteins don't denature. Producing light requires fuel (even if the rabbits do it). Regulating heat is tricky, because space is a good insulator; they're essentially living in a mobile Thermos.   

       In addition, anything used as fuel isn't cycled back into the ecosystem.
bookworm, Sep 17 2001
  

       Rabbits also eat their own waste.
thumbwax, Sep 17 2001
  

       Waskelly wittle uwine genewaters!   

       We can only hope an advance species doesn't diagnose us by our ship and send back a cure for rabbits.
reensure, Sep 17 2001
  

       If the ship is fired on a purely balistic trajectory then it would not need engines... I just have 1 question... what are the rabits suposed to do when they get there that computers can't?
RobertKidney, Sep 17 2001
  

       The rabbits cannot do anything that the computers cannot, (unless of course they have drastically eveloved during their journey) the rabbits merely provide a fuel source, and a possible inteligent life force in the event of drastic eveolution
bobsta, Sep 21 2001
  

       this is an impossible situation, unless the whole mass of the system is equal to that of the sun, the it will work (acceleration of the ship will take forever
omega_scientist, Jan 16 2002
  

       neehh....Wazzzup Doc?
Mandrax, Jan 25 2002
  

       [Bookworm] you've more or less nailed this shut.. but another minor observation.. Yes plants on balance, take in CO2 and release O2, they assimilate the carbon in order to grow, it's where they "come from" However, as rabbits do not photosynthesise they need to eat to assimilate Carbon, which they get in the form of cellulose and sugars etc from the Carrots, which they oxidise.. using up all the 0xygen the plants kindly "made".. in order to keep it all working you need to keep putting energy in.. which comes from?
Gran Tade, Jan 25 2002
  

       I'm missing something here, why does there have to be life on board? nah, give him a cawot!
po, Jan 26 2002
  

       Rabbits cannot survive on carrots. And humans would die from rabbit starvation with only rabbits and carrots to eat. But the donkey thing might work.
mighty_cheese, Jan 27 2002
  

       Gran Tade: ...which comes from a nuclear reactor.   

       he he Talk about giving evolution a kick in the butt. :o)   

       I'm thinking, though... IF it were possible to maintain an ecosystem like that in space, would we not be better off sending a different species of "intelligent life"? I mean, I love Bugs too, but c'mon! dolphins, apes, maybe even dogs would work better. They would go off and come back looking like either Chewbaccas or Klingons.   

       ...or Janet Reno? ;o)
#1Fan, Jun 21 2002
  

       Though I am not a qualified Veteranarian I believe that if all the rabbits in the world were put end to end in a line from London (England) across to New York (U.S.A), most of them would get very wet.   

       Dave Forde - Sep 29 2002
dat forde, Aug 29 2002
  

       Good lord, a message from the future, Mr Ford, did you use a time-warping user interface to get here?
Zircon, Aug 29 2002
  

       Hmm.. Intergalactic cannibalistic trekkers..sounds a bit rabid.
hollajam, Aug 29 2002
  

       I have possibly found the artifacts of the oldest surviving perpetual motion scheme on the HB. It is also a quite interesting idea too. Perhaps it could tap into the (apparent) perpetual motion of the accelerating universe by flying via vaccum energy.
quantum_flux, Nov 20 2007
  
      
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