Archive for the ‘China’ Tag

3-D Dinner is Served!   54 comments

Extreme Dinner is Served!

Growing food

How do we grow food in space?!! This is one of our most prevalent challenges, although it may well become an even bigger one here on Earth if we cannot figure out how to grow enough on the home world to feed our ever-expanding population!

Launching supplies into space is, of course, costly. So the ultimate aim for any long-duration interplanetary trip or long-term human presence on the surface of Mars would be to develop sustainable food cultivation techniques.

Marsbase_asc-csa.gc.ca

Extreme Gardening on Mars

Future Gardening on Mars may yet become a reality with the European Research Project MELiSSA on track to grow vegetables on the Red Planet. MELiSSA is an ESA project which “strongly promotes the implementation of space research based innovations on Earth via Industry.” Initially vegetables will be grown from seeds in a closed Earth system, later progressing to growing on the Moon. The first Martian vegetables will be grown in a Mars-bound spacecraft and if all goes to plan the ultimate planting and growing on Mars will follow.

marsveg_vasi.netNurturing vegetation and growing crops in such a hostile environment as space is fraught with difficulties and would involve a high degree of human ingenuity and new science. It would also require an intense and complex support system in order to succeed. In particular there is also the question of drinking water production, nutrients and crop cultivation techniques which will also require research.

If this plan does succeed, the new technologies and science necessary to achieve it could also be put to good use back on Earth, to develop land around the world which is not at this time suitable for food cultivation. This could provide a much needed lifeline to those countries where many of their citizens are starving, and also be of overall benefit in feeding our ever expanding population in general.

"Also companies on Earth can benefit from the space research. For instance, new energy efficient light systems can be developed and commercialized for growing plants in green houses." ~ Prof. Benedikt Sas from the Centre of Excellence Food2Know.

China to Grow Mars Veg’

SpaceFoodMarsGreenhouseState media in China have reported Chinese astronauts are preparing to grow fresh vegetables on the Moon and Mars. A successful test held in Beijing was conducted and completed for research purposes, consisting of four different vegetable types. Growing in an "ecological life support system" which relies on plants and algae this environment would create an opportunity for fresh, home-grown vegetables to be harvested for healthy, nutritious meals.

“Chinese astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extra-terrestrial bases in the future,” ~ Deng Yibing, a researcher at Beijing’s Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Centre quoted by Xinhua news agency.


3-D Printing of food

One potential solution to these issues could be 21st century open-source technology in the form of 3-D printers. Already being used in industry and the arts, 3-D printing looks set to become ‘one of the defining technologies in human space travel and colonization.’

3-D Printing_m.gizmodo.co.uk

So! If you are one of those angry American citizens raging furiously against the changes to your gun laws and the shortage of aforementioned item and plentiful supplies of ammo’ or possibly even a really determined, hard core survivalist then this 3-D printer maybe the revolutionary solution you have been feverishly searching for…just print a nice, shiny new gun and you’re right there in business to exercise your right to bear arms!

But how could the growth of a replenishable source of ‘Martian mushrooms and cosmic cucumbers’ – a healthy stock of crisp, garden-fresh veggies being a vital ingredient in ensuring colonies are in good physical shape – viably be achieved?

A 3-D printer controlled by software recipes, such as the one being developed by researchers at Cornell University, could be the answer to your unappeasable appetite for a nourishing snack.

 3-D printing machine_dobrevijesti.info


Space Pizza!

It’s not quite a vegetable but it is the perfect choice for the first printed to order 3-D printed food; at your heady request it can print off a lovely big space pizza to satisfy even the largest of man-sized appetites!

3d-printing_trendjournal.mudpie.co.uk

It would be created by printing the first layer –dough for the pizza base, which will speedily bake on the hot plate it would be deposited on. This would be topped with a combo-layer of powdered tomato puree and oil then yet a further layer – of protein and ideally a blend of all nutrients and minerals required to create a thoroughly healthy pizza! Unheard of though a healthy pizza is, should it become possible it may even be possible to add medications where necessary, via computer commands.

Enter NASA!3_D pizza

NASA has been so enthusiastic about this innovative proposition for a galactic pizza express 😉 that it has approved a $125,000 grant for the development of a “universal food synthesizer,” a prototype dreamed up by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, of Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) in Austin, Texas. Based on 3-D printing technology this prototype also has the advantage of eliminating the problem of food waste.

“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life. The way we are working on it is all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years.” ~ Anjan Contractor

03m/02/sprs/15085/ga00259

In conclusion

Although this innovative design is currently only at the ideas stage, in the future it could transform the way we conceive food here on Earth. This in-turn may help feed the planet.

“I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently. So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.” ~ Contractor

3-D food_culturewav.esSources: Space.com

Science Daily

 

Federal Border Guards – Russian Military Dogs bred to defend borders.   68 comments

Federal Border Guards – Russian Military Dogs bred to defend borders.

 

K9 Federal Border Guards     Volkosoby - Russian Wolf Dog

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union an agreement was put in place between Russia and Tadjikistan that the border with Afghanistan would be patrolled by Russian border guards. This is a highly popular border point for drug traffickers whose sole intention is to cross it undetected.

Federal Border Guards – The “Volkosoby” (Russian for wolf dog) is a relatively new breed of Wolf Dog, bred by the Russian military to help defend and protect the Chinese and Mongolian borders of Russia. Bred in the Perm Institute of Internal Troops it originated in Russia in year 2000. A fully trained wolf dog is valued at $2,000-$3,000.

Powerful animals they are the size of, and the grip of a wolf, but retain an obedient and friendly attitude to people who are not a threat. None-the-less they are not officially sold, being instead, rented to internal security organisations.

Russian Wolf Dog

The first 200+ wolf-dog puppies bred at The University of Cologne were considered to be a failure as they all expressed the typical wolf characteristics of extreme fearful-caution around humans. Therefore the subsequent breeding success at Russia’s Perm Institute of Interior Forces was both a big surprise and a major achievement. Such good fortune could have been achieved by virtue of the fact that the She-wolf used in the breeding process was an exceptionally, and uncharacteristically friendly and sociable wolf. And contrary to the natural wolf nature she got on just great with humans.

She herself, despite having the choice of mates, chose a male dog as her mate rather than a male wolf, and her pups are the beautiful and unique military/police dogs with their high level intelligence and the benefit of their enhanced wolf instincts that today the Russians have the great pleasure and privilege of training. 

Russian Wolf Dog Pup  Little and Large!    Male wolf "Akella" and Female German Shepherd Dog mate 

The wolf part of the breed mix involves the Caspian Sea Wolf, officially known as Steppe Wolf but also referred to as the Causican Wolf. It was classified by Ivan Dwigubski a Russian scientist in 1804 as Canis lupus campestris a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. Originating in the countries around the Caspian Sea and Black Sea, it is now found only in remote regions SW of Russia, bordering the northern half of the Caspian Sea, though it has also been sighted in N Afghanistan and Iran and from time to time, the steppe regions of Romania and Hungary. 

Grey Caspian Sea WolvesCaspian Sea wolves weigh Red-Coated Asian/Kazakhstan Steppe Wolvesbetween 35-40 kg (77-88 lbs.); have short coats in a variety of grey shades, with overlay hair in rust or brown and black shades across their back. They also have a characteristically thinly furred tail. Asian and Kazakhstan Steppe wolves are inclined to lean heavily towards more reddish toned pelts but in both cases these are the colours of the desert and designed to allow the wolves to blend into their surroundings. They are slightly smaller than the Eurasian wolf – used in the creation of the Czechoslovakian Wolf dog and not to be confused with it, and its fur is scanter, bristlier and shorter.

“Volkosoby” – Russian wolf dogs take on a variety of specialized tasks. Some are trained specifically to track mines, others are trained in drugs and alcohol detection techniques, and every checkpoint has three or four tracker wolf dogs.

Trained "Volkosoby"-Russian Wolf Dogs at checkpoint

It is the job of border guard headquarters to ensure there are sufficient numbers of appropriately and fully trained wolf dogs to cover all border posts. Wolf dogs in training guard the perimeters, guaranteeing absolutely, that no one has any chance whatsoever of getting past them.

Federal Border Guards! 

 

 

Wolf dogs are very friendly work-loving creatures. “When they enter the training hall their teeth chatter as they are impatient to do exercises.” ~ Animal trainer Olga Galperina. And they have excelled on dog training programmes regularly out-performing the dogs.

 

   Happy to work...  Russian Wolf Dogs in Training  Russian Wolf Dogs_Sit-Stay Training

In training German Shepherd Dogs took a good four minutes to sniff out a ‘criminal’ hiding in a confined space of the building. The wolf dogs took a maximum time of between fifteen and twenty seconds! (BELOW)

Working Russian Wolf Dog

Unlike dogs who naturally love to run around enthusiastically investigating the training grounds in a hectic, unruly fashion prior to getting down to the process of actually working, these Russian Wolf Dogs cut straight to the chase. One circle of the area in question to establish relevant locations, is all that they find necessary before initiatiating a speedy no-nonsense track-down of the drugs, criminals or explosives hidden around the training area.

Exhibition Activities also inc GSD's and BSD's (Belgian Shepherd Dogs-Malinois)

 

They also display an eagerness to be involved in exhibition activities at the Institute’s ‘Championship Competitions of the Internal Troop Service.’ (RIGHT>>>)

 

 

Russian Wolf Dog detecting explosives

The wolf dogs are considered to be “strategic weapons.”

They have proven themselves in conditions close to the area of the North Caucasus fighting, and show a keenness to work on the oil pipelines searching for illegal connections, detecting explosives in vehicles entering oil installations.

 

 

The Russian wolf dog has proved to have a great affinity for the search and apprehension of intruders and in contrast to their German Shepherd Dog counterparts can easily trail criminals on the run for a good two days at a time without tiring.

   Criminal Chase and Apprehension Training  Criminal Chase and Apprehension Training 2