Latest By

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

"People are choosing to allow television and Electronic Arts to do all their imagining for them."
- Peter Watts

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
  - Space Synthetic Biology Grand Challenges

Articles related to Biology
Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
Real Leather Without Cows Modern Meadow Biofabrication
Epigenetic Memory's On/Off Switch Found
Rabbit's Brain Cryogenically Frozen Successfully

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

Human Doctors Still Better Than Computers
'Nowadays surgery was normally done by autodocs...'

FEDOR Humanoid Robot To Join Russians In Space
Am enjoying view of Russian robot.

BMW Self-Balancing Motorcycle - Never Put Feet On Road
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'

MicroTug Is A Micro Robot Beast
'And it had been dragging something...'

Linear Elastic Actuator in Parallel (LEAP) - It's A Hopping Robot
'...Probably the most grotesque forms of transportation ever invented.'

Smart Glove Controls 3D Printed Robotic Arm (Waldo!)
'Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the... waldoes... followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Wearables For Animals Totally A Thing
'Twin deformities on either side of his skull had been engineered to house sensor units.'

Tomatoes From Sun And Seawater
'Hydroponics. Gotta almost do it, if I'm going way out to Mars without much supplies.'

Hadrian X Construction Robot From Fastbrick Robotics
Hope Hadrian is never a runaway!

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.