Friday, June 06, 2008

Harvest would be a hard 't'ask...

Eclectic thoughts;
I was reading about the new Japanese experimental lab being attached to the international space station and how they planned experiments in gardening.
That set me off wondering how they could garden in space, what with weightlessness and all.(can't help it its the regional hillbilly in me..:-) At least they would have plenty of fertilizer if the space plumber couldn't fix the toilet! "Hello space yellow pages, toilet blocked, orbiting Earth you say, who you gonna call?"

But I digress, gardening in space, the first thing I could imagine was soil enclosed in glass or perspex, with a lid on it, how would the carrots get a leafy green top? without space, and in space the whole thing would lift out of the container.
Then I thought about sewing or organically glueing seedlings or seeds into a kind of organic tape in rows, held in place this way they could grow if in a nutrient bath, sort of like how children grow beans in cotton wool in primary school. Mmm, still how would you keep the fluid from floating and making space bubbles? Great to play with until they get really little and hard to find...

All this space gardening lead me to remember a movie I saw years ago, where great glass domes, in which the last surviving organic life from Earth was saved, were floated out into space, until it became uneconomical for the upkeep...think Bruce Dern was in it along with some cute gardener robots. Now all I can see is everything floating with the lack of gravity...a kind of ballet of veges..dancing.

Anyway I think the only idea I could come up with for harvesting was a vacum bag of sorts to gather grains etc, a scythe is definitly out of the question, though Bruce would have probably put it to good use.

Thinking about this lead me to reading/writing difficulties in space and the old joke about the American thinktank who spent millions developing a pen for space that would work on any angle and write on most surfaces, the Russians however, used a pencil, boom boom!

Reading in your bunk, strapped in and book floating in front of you. The pages floating apart, needing to be made of weighted substance to keep them down.
(Yea I know I could have a 'kindle', but where's the fun in that?)
Upside no arthritic aches, downside strap chafing... upside bigger books are easier to hold, downside glasses floating off, unstrapping, banging head because of lack of gravity...and so on. Just imagine the nightmare of trying to read on the toilet in the middle of the space night

Screens above the bunks would be the answer, easy to use, change, type on, speak/think too. There would be no paper anyway if you couldn't get 't' harvest in.
Papyrus, mmmm

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