Jeff Raymond is still waiting for a call from NASA inviting them to join the expedition to Mars. Not that he’s not fit: he was 38 years old, and he’s a former engineer in the U.S. air force. But most importantly, he enjoys the project, which could be useful on Mars.
More than a year, Raymond and his wife created a fully functional and independent “Martian housing” in the backyard. They have invested about $ 200,000 into the project and hope to invest a little more, until it’s done.
The dwelling itself Raymond demonstrates on his very popular YouTube channel. It is essentially cosplay of Matt Damon from the movie “the Martian”. Together with his wife Raymond successfully growing large crops of microplane is a small, nutrient-rich vegetables — which they hope one day to compensate for the construction costs of the habitat. The ultimate goal, however, is to create housing that will be able to use people all over the world for the development of agriculture.
But NASA does not call.
“I would like to come and see what we’re doing,” says Raymond. “On Mars it would be very difficult to provide all the food. There are still many issues that need to be addressed, but I am ready to render any possible assistance.”
NASA is well aware of the logistical problems of growing vegetables on other planets and invests considerable resources in experimenting with space farms. But Raymond said that it will encourage NASA to listen to the farmers, whose expertise in this area can be invaluable for future Martian colonists.
“This project in fact opened my eyes to the lack of respect for the people who grow our food,” says Raymond. “Agriculture is very difficult.”
However, the interest of Raymond to agriculture is not limited to the technical problems of growing vegetables on the red planet. The last five years he was increasingly interested in how to live off the grid, self-sufficient and built a house on his ranch in Washington. During the research a self-sustaining habitat he came to very definite conclusions about the impending problem of overpopulation and food crisis that is coming with it.
Raymond realized that to meet the demand for food will require not only expansion of production of food but increase the efficiency of this process. He began to experiment with aquaponics systems, where wastes from the fish provide the plants with food, and these plants in turn, clean the water and provide the fish with nutrients. Thus was born the Martian home of Raymond.
The current design of the Martian environment won’t work on Mars — it is pervious to air, not particularly resistant to radiation, but it doesn’t need. Much more important is a stable ecosystem within the farm environment, which, according to Raymond, will be valuable not only for future Martians, but for the poor food communities on Earth.
In March, Raymond said that his house was barely tolerated the winter, but it helped him to change. Over the past eight months, Raymond has significantly changed the design of the home, making it almost different. He added floors, two systems aquaponics for growing vegetables, set a powerful heater and made a roof of glass, so it look like a greenhouse.
Meanwhile, Raymond is working on deepening their knowledge about agriculture and is completing the first of two habitats. In 2018, his biggest goal is to automate most of the critical systems environment, to the maintenance took less time.
“We haven’t had a weekend,” says Raymond. “The system should be monitored, so you can’t go anywhere, to do something. We joke that it’s our child because he takes all the time.”
Automation would also allow for the design to others. According to Raymond, the implementation of these processes has been difficult, and he still develops software for automation systems that will irrigate the plants and to control the temperature and nutrients in the soil.
“We want to make everything as simple as possible, if you want to grow your own food,” says Raymond. “We want to keep the system available for use to anyone. So you need to automate.”
Once automation is resolved, the habitat will be essentially completed. After that, Raymond will be working on the second environment using the experiences of the first. One day, he hopes, a small version of such dwellings are in urban centres is to provide people with fresh food on Earth and beyond.