Thursday 3rd of January 2019 | Posted In: Energy saving, Use and Manage

Sending food to Space

Towards the end of last year, negotiators gathered in Poland for the UN Climate Change Conference to discuss possible measures to halt global warming, whilst news emerged of a projected carbon emissions increase of more than 2% (compared with a 1.6% rise last year). The difficulty of implementing carbon reduction measures has recently been demonstrated in France, with an ill thought through carbon tax on fuels having been thwarted by widespread (and somewhat violent) protests.

CO2 concentration in the air was projected to reach 407 ppm by the end of 2018, which does not bode well for the widely agreed 1.5 degree limit placed on global temperature increases to avoid irreversible climate change. An increase in renewable energy has been seen across many countries, including the UK, but what if we don’t end up doing enough? Some, like Elon Musk, believe that a Plan B is necessary, in other words, getting to Mars. This has seen a recent increase in developments relating to space travel including SpaceX’s re-useable rockets used to deliver supplies to the ISS (International Space Station).

The latest package, which was delivered in December, included a Christmas turkey along with cranberry sauce. Another experiment aims to investigate the effects of producing our food in extra-terrestrial environments. Eu:CROPIS -  a satellite greenhouse project will replicate the gravity experienced on the Moon and Mars over a period of twelve months (two crop cycles). Conclusions will be drawn on issues such as whether the tomatoes grow satisfactorily in such conditions, and whether their photosynthesis rate is similar, better or worse than here on earth? A number of sensors will monitor other parameters such as pH, oxygen concentration and performance of microorganisms in reduced gravity environments.

These are the kind of questions that will need to be answered to enable us to take food production to new frontiers. However, in the meantime, it makes sense (both commercially and ethically) to reduce our reliance on energy, and thereby reduce our carbon emissions through the use of the most efficient methods available to produce our food. If you’re interested in what we can do for your business’ energy consumption then get in touch.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash