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Thread: Which insects could benefit a Mars colony?

  1. #1 Which insects could benefit a Mars colony? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Im curious to read your speculation/brainstorming about whether or not insects (or other tiny invertebrea, or bacteria, cell culture) could be considered in an eventual Mars colonization project.

    What could be their use and which genetic modification (or accelerated selection) could be considered to make them more adapted to these roles or to a Mars colony (with the food available for the insects or environment).

    The first use I tought of is food(protein), are there other functions(recycling, pharmaceutical,) they could be helping with even as a backup/alternate mechanism?

    Which insects are a good source of food and would also be suited for a Mars colony environment(Im thinking inside the colony or a cave as opposed to exterior martian environment at this point)?


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    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    What about bees for pollination of underground farms? Plus they make sweet sweet honey!


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    Yeast isn't a bug but it produces carbondioxide and ethenol, handy if you were on mars. But you still need plants for the oxygen and glucose.
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    Mars is cold,so you need to heat it up. Mars doesn't have enough oxygen in its atmosphere ,plants might work for that. For an external environment compatable with humans for the colonization of mars, Bees for the polinisation of plants would be the most important. Then again within a contained environment there might be no escape from them. Bees.
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    Assuming you mean surviving outside, no current species that depends on aerobic respiration could survive--that completely rules out most advanced life including plants, bees, .

    What's the leave? Mostly prokarytos. And organisms such as cyanobacteria--and only extremophiles that can survive the 300+ day freeze drying of the long winters.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Im thinking of inside a colony structure like hydroponics, vivariums, biodomes etc, and sealed underground caves/tunnels. Not thinking of outside at this point.

    BTW, on Mars, if colonist were to find a cave, of to dig a tunnel like a mine, and seal it with an air lock entry system, what temperature would the air tend to go to,
    something moderate where you dont need constant heating or little of it, or would it tend to go to very cold and require a lot or constant heating?

    Im assuming that if you had hydroponics in greenhouses or tunnels with artificial lighting, bees would be useful for polenization. I wonder if they could deactivate
    the gene that creates the sting? I assume bringing a few Queens on the trip to mars would be enough?

    Are there mushroom/molds that grow in dark environments (presumably require less energy) that could be a source of food for some type of insect that in turn could provide a food source for humans?
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    Im thinking of inside a colony structure like hydroponics, vivariums, biodomes etc, and sealed underground caves/tunnels. Not thinking of outside at this point.
    k. than you can really just create what every environment is needed for the insects--pressurized, warm, with moisture and oxygen.

    BTW, on Mars, if colonist were to find a cave, of to dig a tunnel like a mine, and seal it with an air lock entry system, what temperature would the air tend to go to,
    something moderate where you dont need constant heating or little of it, or would it tend to go to very cold and require a lot or constant heating?
    Average temperatures below ground would be between -40C near equator to colder then -80C at higher latitudes. It would need to be well insulated from walls of cave as well as heated and lit.


    Are there mushroom/molds that grow in dark environments (presumably require less energy) that could be a source of food for some type of insect that in turn could provide a food source for humans?
    Most fungi use organic debris as the food. You'd have some after a few growing seasons. Quite a few insects, such as meal worms, are edible and would have a pretty high ratio of energy conversion between the plant and protein.
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