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NASA Unveils Greenest Federal Building In the Nation 172

An anonymous reader writes "NASA just unveiled its new Sustainability Base — an exceptionally efficient building that harnesses technology developed for the International Space Station. The high-tech complex produces more energy than it consumes and it was just awarded LEED Platinum certification, making it the greenest federal building in the nation. The project features an extensive network of wireless sensors that allow the building to automatically react to changes in weather and occupancy and NASA's forward-osmosis water recycling system, which cuts water use by 90% compared to a traditional building."
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NASA Unveils Greenest Federal Building In the Nation

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  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:58AM (#39744163)

    The first bio dome failed because the concrete consumed more oxygen then was previously believed. The facility never produced enough oxygen even to cure the concrete and thus couldn't be sealed.

    NASA should build a bio dome that can be sealed. People don't need to live in it all the time. Use airlocks so people can go home at the end of the day. The point is that the facility should produce enough air, clean water, power, and food to keep five or more people alive indefinitely.

    Once we can build such a facility we can theoretically set up bases on the moon or other planets. We might even consider keeping the plants alive entirely with artificial light since regular light cycles won't be useful on other worlds. We might have to turn geothermal energy into light or even use a fission reactor.

    I don't care if nasa built an environmentally friendly building. That has nothing to do with space exploration. Want to impress me? Build something that produces more oxygen then the occupants consume.

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:56AM (#39745837)

    Yes... except without a goal, the money that you spend on those degrees would be wasted. I'd say that one good goal is worth more than a million Ph'Ds.

    You know what you get with more doctorates and no goals? More people looking for hair loss remedies and erectile dysfunction pills.

    People work towards competing against limits, or each other. I'd prefer that they spend billions on "tin cans in space" than on arms proliferation or viagra. Let's face it, there is a time we have to suck it up and get into space or we are extinct as a species. We might have a billion years to do it, or events may conspire to make that period of time much, much shorter.

    Space exploration challenges our need for new materials and technology more than just about anything else I can think of. We also know that the solar system alone has enough in the way of resources to keep us going for a very long time, but we have to pay the steep upfront costs of infrastructure there to be able to take advantage of it. Those costs will not become magically smaller as time goes on. Nothing about the iPad or smartphones is going to get us there. We have to design specifically for non-terrestrial environments and stresses.

    Without a space program, I am not sure what you think all those post-grads would be doing except looking for jobs that no one wants to hire them for.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford