Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Martian Sawgrass  
  Specialized variety of plant that is used to provide oxygen for space stations.  

The new Director of the Venus Equilateral station goes on a routine inspection of the "air plant" and what does he find?

"I found that instead of a bunch of machinery, running smoothly, purifying air, and sending it out to the various parts of the station, all there was was a veritable jungle of weeds... I had some workmen clear the weeds out."

It turned out that the "air plant" was - Martian sawgrass.

"What better purifying machine is there than a plot of grass?" shouted Channing. "... We breathe oxygen, exhale CO2. Plants inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen. An air plant means just that. It is a specialized type of Martian sawgrass that uses chlorophyll... We've spent years getting that plant so it will grow just right. It got so good that the CO2 detectors weren't even needed...
From QRM - Interplanetary, by George O. Smith.
Published by Street and Smith in 1942
Additional resources -

To save the station from bureaucratic stupidity, an immediate order for "as many oxydrums on the fastest ship they've got" was issued to suppliers back on Earth.

Also, in his excellent 1950 short story The Morning of the Day They Did It, EB White refers to this same idea:

Every subway rider knew that the two men on the [space] platform were breathing oxygen thrown off from big squash vines that they had taken along..."

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from QRM - Interplanetary
  More Ideas and Technology by George O. Smith
  Tech news articles related to QRM - Interplanetary
  Tech news articles related to works by George O. Smith

Martian Sawgrass-related news articles:
  - Elektron Oxygen Generator Versus Martian Sawgrass
  - CAMRAS Recycles Every Breath You Take
  - Fresh Veggies, Fresh Air For Mars
  - Man-Made Space Leaf Creates Oxygen From Water And Light

Articles related to Biology
Gene-Edited Muscle Dogs From China
Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Synthetic Coral To Clean The Seas?
'Cortical Modem' Latest On DARPA's Wishlist

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

Blue Origin Reusable Rocket's Vertical Landing
We're getting there, one launch at a time.

X125 Snake-Arm Inspection Robot Video
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'

Super-Thin Smart Glazing Displays
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'

Have Scientists Found A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours
'Ellis had found a weak point, a shimmer, at which another continuum completely had been visible.'

Active Wellness Smart Car Seat
'Maybe the car was right...'

Tech Tats Prototype Sfnal Devices
'...Permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'

ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."

Tesla Suit Gives Haptic Hugs
'Then a pressure on the lips...'

Surgically Implantable Artificial Kidney Starts Testing
'George Walt... proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.