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Last Train from Earth is Finished! July 10, 2015

Posted by Al Philipson in Last Train from Earth.
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Cover SuperThumbI thought I’d never get this finished. But, with the help of some friends, I finally got the plot moving the way I wanted and most of the bugs out. Thank you for being so patient (in most cases). It’s available now on Amazon. Check out the sidebar for a description of the story.


“This is a nail-biter from page one … and I was captivated right down to the last paragraph.” “I read [the book] in two days, and I don’t read anything that quickly unless it’s damn good.” -John Bowers, author of the popular Fighter Queen, Starport, and Nick Walker series.

“Very well written and insightful. Not your run of the mill science fiction novel. Surprise ending.”  -Levi

Growing Crops in Martian or Lunar Soil September 18, 2014

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news.
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Mars_GreenhouseCrops Grow On Fake Moon And Mars Soil

 

That means future space colonizers may be able to farm their own food using local dirt. No hydroponics necessary.

If humans ever set up permanent bases on the Moon or Mars, we’ll need to be able to grow our own food there. To find out whether that’s actually possible, a team of scientists in the Netherlands planted 14 plant species in soils that simulate the Martian and lunar regolith. It turned out that the Martian soil simulant was better than some Earth soils for growing plant life, which is good news for astronauts and colonists.

Real Moon and Mars soils appear to contain the essential ingredients that plants need, except for reactive nitrogen (and an abundant water supply). Though the simulant soils closely match the composition and grain size of the real stuff, they also contain trace amounts of the nitrates and ammonium—the nitrogen-based compounds that plants love. So the simulant soil isn’t a perfect model.

The complete article. Sarah Fecht