The other day, I was talking to an acquaintance about how important it will be to recycle everything which is used in an off world colony. For instance, water is a precious commodity, and you wouldn’t want to waste even your own urine. All of that must be recycled and reused just like everything else. The human waste would also need to be used for fertilizer to grow food, and there would have to be a system for all this. Okay so let’s talk shall we?
You see, my acquaintance had a bit of knowledge in the water filtration business, as well as in recycling. Being in the car wash industry myself, I have a bit of knowledge in water reclamation, filtration, and H2O tech myself. I’ve always been interested in taking waste water and using it to power up a car wash, and believe that humans will use all sorts of similar strategies in off-world colonies to recycle “everything” as there will be no other choice really. For humans water is life. Luckily, hydrogen and oxygen are common place in our solar system it appears.
In fact, they just found that up to 10% of the walls of a Martian crater that the Mars rover was surveying contained water ice. Good, so there is some water there, and that water needs to be collected, and continually reused otherwise eventually it will be all gone and thus, the humans cannot survive. It is possible to get water out of a turnip despite popular belief, there are some species that feed upon turnips, and they get that water content in doing so.
If we use some of the tricks of organic chemistry, along with a few tricks of simple physics we should be able to create a situation where humans can grow plants, have water, and live in a very tightly controlled sustainable environment in an off world colony, while they build everything necessary to mine materials, and create a new abundance out of basically nothing. Some would look at all this and say that the NASA scientists and the futurist discussing all this are talking about playing God. But that’s not actually so.
Rather, the discussion is using what already exists, and the laws of nature and physics to create a perpetual recycling program where nothing is wasted, total efficiency, and perhaps a Six Sigma human off world colony strategy. There are some carwashes in the United States that are not hooked up to water, they start with a given amount of water, and they recycle it all as they go, nothing is wasted. It’s actually possible. If we can do this in one of our industries, certainly we can do it with everything else which is needed to sustain life, human life that is. Please consider all this and think on it.