SC17: George Butiri

George Butiri attended the University of Toledo where he studied physics, but graduated with a degree in Software Development for Business from Lorain County Community College.

His fascination with science began as a child when he would take things apart just to see how they work. Having read about the Stanford Torus, his curiosity quickly turned to space exploration.

When not working 9 to 5 as a Software Engineer Director, he turns all of his stored up ideas to building one-off websites, and conducts science experiments with his 8 year old son.

Born in Romania, and having moved to the US when he was 11 in the summer of ‘89, he’s traveled and lived all across the US, and the Netherlands until settling in sunny southern California.

Father of two boys, Ethan and Patrick, 8 and 2 respectively, and husband to an amazingly supportive wife of 17 years, he resides and works in the city of Irvine, California.

Self Sustainability on the Moon and Beyond


Imagine a self sustaining environment, such as the biodome experiment, created on the Moon. We currently have the technology and resources to build such a structure.

The natural gravity of the Moon, even if only 1/6th of the gravity on Earth, would help to prevent the decay of bone and muscle density when moving around, or sleeping. The only thing we’d need to do is exercise a bit more than here on Earth to maintain that bone and muscle density.

A moon day is approximately 27 Earth days, so we would have to compensate for that difference using mirrors and full spectrum lights. Temperature differences would have to be taken into consideration as well.

Base Construction

The construction of the structures would be handled by robots and 3D metal printers on rails. The initial 3D printers would build their own rail system using pre-programmed commands. They would then handle the construction of the base as well as self repair and maintenance. Shuttles would bring in earth, rocks, water, metals and minerals to the inside of the base after the main structure is built.

The base would not just be built on the surface, but underground as well. A nonporous layer would be built below the ground, like a crater, in order to store flowing water. The whole base would be sealed off from the outside environment of the Moon.

Energy

Solar panels can power the station during the lunar day. A redundant set of several nuclear reactors can be installed far away to provide electric power used for lighting and heat for thousands of years. The reactors would be shielded by lead and other insulating material, and the temperature of space would keep it from overheating. 

Gold and aluminium mirrors can be placed to reflect sun rays into the base. Gold and aluminum only reflect the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that makes it to the surface of Earth when filtered through the atmosphere. 

On the back side of the mirror panels, lights would be available, powered by the nuclear reactors. The panels would rotate as necessary to provide daylight every 12-12.5 hours.

Air

It takes approximately 8 trees to give off enough oxygen to one person. With the addition of any new people, 8 trees would have to be planted. The trees to be planted would preferably be fruit trees so that they also supply nourishment. Grass and other plants would add excess oxygen that can be stored for later use, or release onto the lunar surface.

Bacteria, amoeba and plankton can be grown in specific areas to release the other gases necessary to sustain an atmosphere, such as nitrogen. These natural life forms would convert methane and other carbons into nitrogen necessary for the stability of the air. We would breathe out carbon dioxide and release methane gases in order to form a solid symbiotic relationship with the flora and fauna around us.

Water and Filtration

Water can naturally be filtered through multiple layers of dirt, rock, shale and coal, along other minerals. Wells would handle the cycle of bringing water back to the surface to be used for irrigation and consumption. Additional natural filters can be used to further filter the water. Water would naturally sink into the ground.

The non porous layer below would store the flowing water after filtering throug through multiple layers of stone, dirt, sand, coal, shale, and other minerals.

Food and Nourishment

Most of the food would be plant based for many reasons. No pollution. In fact, the nourishment plants could further remove carbon dioxide from the internal atmosphere. Plants tend to have a much healthier nutritional value. Anything from roots to legumes and leafy vegetables can be grown.

For proteins, chickens can be brought onboard to serve a double purpose. Both eggs and chickens can be used for consumption. Egg whites contain all of the proteins a human could ever need. Fish could also be brought to live in the waters. The fish could provide nourishment as well. With enough careful planning, cows can be brought onboard to provide milk, but we have to consider the excess buildup of methane gasses in the atmosphere.

Ecology

Individual compartments of fruit trees could house the growth of fruit year round. No more picking fruit too early, allowing the fruit to grow to full nourishment potential, and taste too. Organic fruit that can generate seeds should be used so that the cycle can continue when some trees get too old to produce fruit and have to be cut down.

A nursery should be managed to continue the growth and control of trees and plants.The excess trees could be used to create toys and furniture as necessary.

Hemp can serve multiple purposes as well. Anything from medicine and clothing to ropes and lubricants can be created from hemp.

Transport

Transport belts powered by solar power should be plenty to send people across large distances around the base. Vehicles use up a lot of resources to be constructed, fueled, and even the process of making one can cause heavy pollution. Elevators would be used to reach higher levels to maintain solar panels / lights / biodome panes and the nuclear reactor.

Bikes can be made using wood and rubber trees. Some metal parts can be constructed from metals found in the soil, but these should be limited. The rubber trees would also provide additional oxygen.

Waste Management

Since the entire system is not based on consumerism, there’s no need for polluting packaging. Packaging pollutes when it’s manufactured, and pollutes when thrown away. Recycling also incurs some pollution.

Hemp paper and clay pots should provide plenty of storage for nearly anything. Refrigerators would still be used for long term cold storage.


Economic System

The economic system is based on a free for all concept. Need an apple? Go pick one. Need a chair? Make one. Need new clothes? Make some. The educational system would provide the basic knowledge to maintain the base and tailor to all of its inhabitants.

There would be no “jobs” per se, as money would not be necessary. Everyone contributes where necessary. Tasks would be created daily, and it’s up to the inhabitants to complete them. There would be tasks for virtually all of the maintenance. Some tasks could be taken care of by machines and would be optional to be picked up by someone.

For example, waste would be moved through the filtration system to be recycled into water and fertilizer automatically. Sensors and machines would be tasked with maintaining this system. Everyone should be trained in the basics of fixing the machines so that if something does break down beyond repair by the other machines, the colonists could fix them.

All of the maintenance tasks should take no more than a few hours a week to complete. Feeding chickens, if provided by a team of individuals when tasks are to be assigned, could take no more than 15 minutes a day each time. This would free up the rest of the time to focus on learning things and spending quality time with family and friends. People could walk and talk to do basic inspections and maintenance around their town.

Health

Walking should be the prefered method of short range transportation. Walking and running offer a plethora of benefits. This would provide a much healthier lifestyle and less of a need for doctors. Doctors, medics, and nurses could help take care of broken bones and other serious injuries. Because of the low gravity, any transportation involving body movements should be prioritized over all other methods of transportation.

Education

Education would be the responsibility of everyone. Everyone could learn at least the basics of how to maintain the base, plus they can choose specialties if desired, such as nuclear engineer to maintain the nuclear reactor, medic to help with health treatments, or artist to provide entertainment.

Technology should be used sparingly and only when necessary to provide aid to the inhabitants. Technology should without a doubt be studied so that the inhabitants understand its uses and provide as necessary.

Society

There would be no system of control, no money, or rules. Society would be composed mainly of scientists, and engineers with the necessary complement of entertainers and artists to provide balance to the scientific community. The base is mainly a research facility.

Societal problems should be addressed at the core. Many questions of why should be asked until the core problems are identified. User Experience (UX) should be well taken into consideration. Once all research has been exhausted, a conclusion should be drawn. Every issue should be processed via the scientific method.

The focus of society is to better one’s self, to explore the solar system, or galaxy, and to possibly discover other life and civilizations. The main mission should be to establish a base of self improvement rather than greed, power and control.

Philosophy (including religion and logic) should be studied as science. Common sense, reason and logic should overcome belief and hope. Any hope and belief should be backed up by logical thinking.

If any one person, or group attempts to gain control over the population, the majority of the population should subdue the rebels through non conformity and simple, logical avoidance. That sort of behavior always leads to the problems Earth has been experiencing in its history. Ignorance will not be tolerated.

Beyond

Once we can establish a self sustaining environment, the next logical step would be to use all of the research and knowledge gathered from this research facility and possibly have the 3D printers build a self sustaining torus style ship in orbit that could travel throughout the galaxy
and not be constrained by planetary bodies. 

The future is not far off.