- establishing an initial infrastructure on the Moon -


The GardenHab would not be the first agricultural hab. It would be an "outdoor-like" environment beautifully designed to allow residence to get a good dose of nature including grass, trees, flowers, and perhaps even birds, butterflies, and a few furry friends.

The AgHab would be where a wide variety of food would be produced in controlled environments designed to maximize its production. The environment factors that could be controlled include CO2 levels, temperature, humidity, lighting, irrigation, and nutrients supplied.

Stacks and stack of plants going to the ceiling with magenta LED lights would ensure maximum production.

Telerobots operated by crew on Earth 24/7 would be able to do many of the agricultural tasks including: inspecting, planting, transplanting, harvesting produce, washing produce, and transporting and storing produce and plant waste. Irrigation parts could be designed so that telerobots could easily remove and replace them. But breaking down and repairing parts may require the real-time eye hand coordination of the human crew.

The FarmHabs would be like the AgHab except that each would typically produce one type of plant for maximum efficiency. So for example, one level of a FarmHab could be growing lettuce of the same height with the next row up growing tomatoes. This approach would ensure that the maximum amount of product is being grown to later be stored in bulk.

FieldHabs would be specially designed to grow very large quantites of plants such as wheat. If done correctly with rotating planting schedules and rising shelves no empty space would occur. Also, specialized harvesting hardware could pass along rails harvesting the product in a fully automated manner.

The OrchardHab would be one of the last agricultural habs to be set up. Trees provide certain fruits and nuts and so are very important to have. But trees are a challenge to grow indoors. In particular, it may be that there would need to be an impenatrable floor (e.g. metal) with the routine trimming of wayward roots being a necessary part of the plan. Semi-intelligent robots could target and pick fruit and nuts.

One of the more challenging habs to establish would be the BarnHab which would house large mammals including cows. The large size, confinement, waste, and odors make this habitat of questionable utility when comparing pros and cons. Yet it seems likely that some residents may not go unless they get to have occasional red meat. It may be easier to ship the occasional steak than to grow it in a BarnHab.

Alternately, substitutes for red meat may be considered such as meat analogues (e.g. textured vegetable protein), laboratory-grown meat (not easy), or just sticking with the easier-to-produce meat such as fish and chicken.

Aquaculture is an industry on Earth measuring in the billions of dollars of income each year. Fish are some of the easier meats to grow. If done correctly, fish can be selected that can process the plant waste produce by the agricultural habs.

Next: Food Habs