@readsteven Flying to Mars and living in a buried quonset hut for the rest of my life, OK. Eating insects, hell no. Why would we do that?

@tsturm I think this is a solution in search of a problem. (Maybe there’s a plan to feed Martians entirely on crab, lobster, crayfish and shrimp?)

@readsteven I’d rather expect the first settlers to get really good at growing soy beans and mushrooms. There’s so many ways to directly consume that, no need to feed insects or other animals.

One of the trickiest things is nitrogen - we might just have to bring a lot of that from earth.

@tsturm @readsteven Rabbits, guinea pigs, and chickens are good fast growers in minimal space, so I'd expect those would be the easiest to bring along. Or just skip right to "meat" vats, it's expensive but everyone on Mars would be costing millions a year anyway.

@mdhughes @readsteven For any kind of short-term mission like in The Martian, food will be 100% freeze-dried from Earth, including the famous turkey dinner.

But for a SpaceX-like full-on settlement I'd expect vegetarian cuisine for the first 10 years, until there is enough habitat volume to set aside room for animals. Chickens might be sooner if feed can be figured out, since eggs are kinda nice. :)

@tsturm Fish aren't bad at producing nitrogen. I could maybe see an aquaponics system on Mars.

Honestly, I think we have a lot of things to try (and fail) before we get a colony that's even partially sustaining.

@readsteven Which is why SpaceX wants to build 100s of giant rockets. I guess the idea is to overcome the sustainability problem by shipping huge amounts of material.

@tsturm True, though at this point, how well can we guess at what to ship? Even with a fleet of ships, you don't want to waste flights. (And how many people do you want to send before you've figured out things like food?) I feel like there are a few too many unknown unknowns at this point.

Rapid destructive prototyping is fine for rockets, less so for habitats.

(But, yeah, I'd love to be part of the team pushing back the veil on the unknown unknowns.)

@readsteven True. We will need to figure out a couple of things. But as long as resupply and energy (solar?) can be figured out beforehand, it would not be completely outrageous to figure some of these things out onsite.

Have 20 volunteers bootstrap a settlement under high risk with near unlimited resupply capability does not sound unreasonable. People have done stupider things on this planet. Often repeatedly.

@readsteven It's a fun thought experiment to try and plan out how much of what should be shipped to Mars to support a certain size of a settlement.

Somebody at SpaceX has this job right now and I am jealous.

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