Soylent and SpaceX


#1

I was tempted to call this thread Soylent and NASA, but it seems that SpaceX is going to beat everyone else by a wide lead to the surface of Mars, albeit with logistical help from NASA.

The engineers at SpaceX are working very diligently on laying the groundwork for the first planned mission of the Mars Colonial Transport (MCT). This mission is at least 10 years off, probably closer to 15 but it’s going to happen. The second derivative bodes well for commercial space travel and betting against Elon Musk has never proven wise in the past.

Every square inch of the inside of this transport vessel must be exploited for maximum utility. I can think of no more perfect nutritional base for astronauts on a long, dangerous mission to an alien planet than Soylent. It’s better than any freeze dried MRE in existence in terms of nutrition, efficiency of use of storage space and of course shelf life, and would allow more room on board for additional essentials and equipment. The long term goal is to set up a permanent colony and I’m sure they will be bringing hydroponic equipment with them to allow for a perpetual harvest of traditional food sources, however the benefits of Soylent can not be overlooked in a mission where every dollar, every square foot of usable space and ever hour of the astronauts time is so immensely important. The adverse health effects of space travel such as bone density loss, diminished aerobic capacity, chronic motion sickness just to name a few are notorious, not to mention the awkwardness of preparing food in a zero G environment. Soylent would at least ensure the astronauts on board are properly nourished in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.

One of you guys should hit up Elon…he spends half his time at Tesla in Silicon Valley not too far from you guys.

@rob @JulioMiles


#2

After a certain mission duration one time use foods (including Soylent) are inherently less space/weight/cost efficient than even the least efficient perpetual harvest setup. We could do the math to figure out just what that duration is, but I’d venture a guess that the answer is less than a year.

Sure, farming takes time out of every day, but when you’re stuck in a small box for many months time is something you have quite a lot of, and gardening is good for the mind.

Soylent could change a lot of things, but I’m dubious that the logistics of space travel is one of them… at least until we come up with better nano machines than nature has.


#3

I don’t agree. One thing is the need to keep astronauts busy, another is to keep them running flawlessly.

Soylent could be of use there.

Another use I thought about Soylent was for tank crews. They spend their lives inside the tank and when moving need to do n.2 in old ammunition boxes (or so I was told). Now imagine if you had food that didn’t make you poop.

Or you’re a spec ops soldier, who needs to carry his own waste with himself so as to not leave a trace of his presence…


#4

I think this tech might be more appealing to SpaceX seems more evolutionary than revolutionary which is all Soylent is.

http://www.wfs.org/blogs/len-rosen/meet-pronutria-it-seems-soylent-not-alone-addressing-world-hunger